Winter is coming: KSP hopes drivers will prepare for winter weather commutes

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Winter is right around the corner. With a change of season comes the increased chance for snow and ice. Wintry conditions can make any commute more dangerous. Trooper Bernis Napier of Kentucky State Police says the number of wrecks and fatalities from just last year in Kentucky show the difficulties drivers face.

"We had 4,761 crashes, and 6 of those were fatalities where people lost their lives," Napier said.

Trooper Napier says those numbers are staggering considering the mild winter Kentucky experienced. Last winter, Lexington only had ten days with any winter precipitation, which is similar to other major cities across the state. According to Trooper Napier, the first snow or ice event of the season is usually the trickiest for drivers.

"For the first snowfall of the year, people aren't used to driving in the snow when they've been driving in pretty warm weather the whole year. Obviously, this is when you want to be more cautious and mindful."

As for this winter, Trooper Napier suggests adding more driving distance between cars to help avoid a collision.

"I think generally there is a 3 to 5-second rule. You may want to extend that a little bit more during these weather events and give yourself more time to get where you're going so you're not having to speed and be less aware of what's going on around you."

If you do get in a wreck or end up stuck along the side of a road, Trooper Napier suggests staying where you are and calling 911.

"You're actually safest in the vehicle because you're surrounded then by the car; whereas if someone runs off the road they could hit you, potentially, and the car at the same time."

It's also important to remember that when temperatures fall below freezing, bridges and overpasses will freeze first.

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