Sheriff: Prepare for winter driving before the snow flies

SAGINAW COUNTY (WJRT) - (11/08/18) - Ready or not here it comes. Our first snowfall of the season could arrive Friday.

Before the snow starts falling Saginaw County's sheriff wants to remind you about the rules of the road.

Sheriff Bill Federspiel said each season typically begins the same way. "We can almost guarantee in Saginaw County 80 to 120 accidents across the county, all agencies. That's a lot of accidents."

And while each situation is different, Federspiel said many of those fender benders and more serious accidents have something in common. "It was slippery, it was this, it's always about the weather but it's never about their driving. The bottom-line is no matter what the weather is, you can control what you do," he said.

First and foremost Federspiel said people need to slow down.

"They can stop on dry pavement just fine, but now it's slippery and it's wet and they slide into the back of another car, or they can't steer properly," Federspiel said. "If people would just drive when they're supposed to drive, stay off the phone, keep your hands on the wheel, don't be distracted, and just slow down, go slower. People are in too much of a hurry."

Other advice: leave earlier for your destination, don't tailgate, and watch out for emergency responders and tow truck drivers.

All the extra accidents put them in danger and could impact people who aren't even on the road.

"It delays us. We are delayed responding to other things because we're tied up handling accidents," Fedespiel said.

Michigan does have the Move Over Law, requiring drivers to give emergency responders more room to work. If you are caught not moving over a lane or not slowing down near a stopped emergency vehicle, you could face a fine of $500. The fines and punishment increase if someone is injured or killed.

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