MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- We saw the first snow of 2015 this past weekend, and we've seen more this week. Add in the bitterly cold temperatures and drivers have seen slick conditions on area roadways! Sometimes getting into an accident on the highway when the winter weather takes hold is unavoidable -- so what do you do if it happens to you?
Milwaukee County Sheriff's officials responded to multiple incidents on Tuesday, January 6th -- after more snow fell overnight.
"A lot of fender benders, rear-end collisions and a lot of that is due to basically two things: driving too fast and following too close," Milwaukee County Sheriff's Sgt. Sarah Byers said.
Sgt. Byers says more problems occur when law enforcement officials show up in response to crashes.
"(Drivers) may have been taught from early on, you stay there until the police come. Well that`s not feasible in this day and age with the freeway system being so expansive," Sgt. Byers said.
Snow and ice can make driving in winter tricky, and as it turns out, there are quite a few misconceptions among drivers when it comes to crashes.
So what should you do if you get into an accident on the highway and your car is still able to be driven?
- Stay in your vehicle and wait for help?
- Get out and leave your vehicle?
- Get off the highway at the nearest exit?
The answer: Get off the highway at the nearest exit.
What should you do if you get into an accident on the highway and your car is NOT able to be driven?
- Keep your seat belt on and stay where you are?
- Get out of your car and walk to the nearest exit?
- Get out and stand by your car?
The answer: Stay in your car, and keep your seat belt on.
What should you do if you are driving, and you see a crash occur?
- Call 911?
- Move over?
- Slow down?
The answer: All of the above!
As Sgt. Byers points out though, there's not always a clear-cut right answer.
"You need to have a situational awareness around you, of where you are, how the roadway is made up, what the weather is like, and you have to be in a safe area," Sgt. Byers said.
Sgt. Byers reminds drivers to keep an eye out for those who will be responding to crash scenes. Drivers are asked to slow down and move over when you see those flashing lights.