A lot of traffic accidents | NevadaAppeal.com

A lot of traffic accidents

Staff report
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal A tow truck hauls a newer model sports utlility vehicle north on Carson Street on Saturday morning.

The first big snow in Carson City brought with it the usual calamities: fallen trees, downed power lines, malfunctioning street lights and a lot of traffic accidents, including one fatal on Highway 395 South near Stephanie Way.

“We’ve had a ton of accidents and a ton of spinouts,” said Lt. Jerry Seevers, of the Nevada Highway Patrol, around noon on Saturday. “There’s no way to get an exact count yet.”

The storm brought about 8 inches of snow to the area, leaving roadways difficult to maneuver, especially as cooler temperatures turned wet roads to ice. Chains or snow tires were required during part of the day on Highway 395 South from Carson City to the California state line and over State Route 88 as well as along Highway 50 East from Carson City to Fallon and west to California.

The same restrictions were in place from Silver City to Virginia City and from Reno to the California state line. A wind advisory was up on Highway 395 through Washoe Valley.

Seevers advised drivers to use caution and move slowly.

“Even people in four-wheel drives need to slow down,” he said. “Four wheel helps you go really fast, but it doesn’t help you stop any faster.”

Most importantly, he suggested people stay home as much as possible.

“We have people stranded all over the place because they thought they just had to get to the market.”

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Here are some tips offered by AAA:

• Slow down – your car needs three times more space to stop on slick roads.

• Cloudy weather reduces visibility, so use extra caution when passing other vehicles.

• Maintain a distance of six to eight seconds between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.

• Be deliberate in maneuvering your vehicle – most skidding is caused by sudden stops and turns.

• If your vehicle skids, don’t hit the brakes. Ease off the accelerator and steer into the direction of the skid.

• If you drive through standing water, lightly apply the brakes to dry them.

• Don’t speed up when navigating through standing water. Doing so may cause tires to lose contact with the road (hydroplaning). If this occurs, hold the steering wheel steady and lightly apply the brakes. After your wheels regain contact with the road, slow down until you have full control of the car.

• Be prepared – have tire treads, brakes and wipers checked.

• Never drive while fatigued. Stop every two hours or 100 miles and take a brief rest.

• If you are having car trouble, turn on your hazard lights and pull off the road as far as possible to the right. Light flares or signal for help and stay in your car unless your car is in danger of getting hit by other vehicles. Carry a cellular phone in order to summon help if you become stranded.

• Before leaving home, check on road conditions: Nevada: 1-877-NVROADS (1-877-687-6237) or go to http://www.nevadadot.com/traveler/roads/.