On Tuesday, November 23 2010, the communication center for the Washington State Patrol in King County was overloaded with calls of stranded motorists just one day after an intense snow storm hit the area.
According to the Seattle Times, over 970 calls where logged at the center within the first 24 hours, most of them involving accidents and disabled vehicles blocking traffic.
Here are some accident statistics regarding the type of calls that the Washington State Patrol responded to thanks to the severe weather:
- 79 needed to be reported (16 involved injuries)
- 137 no report taken
- 132 couldn't be located or those involved left before troopers got there
Disabled Vehicles: 307
- 173 reported as blocking the roadway
The remaining reports included debris in the road, roadway conditions and other issues. The Seattle Post Intelligencer reported later that the State Patrol ended up getting over 1,500 calls and helped more than 1,300 stranded motorists during and after the snow storm.
The best way to prevent accidents or injury to yourself and others, avoid driving during extreme weather conditions. According the Seattle PI, during the blizzard, Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond said that when "temperatures remain well below freezing across Washington state, we urge all Washingtonians to stay home and avoid driving."
With the winter season in full swing it is wise for drivers to keep an emergency kit stored in the trunk or somewhere safe at all times. Some crucial things to include are chains, a blanket, flashlight, extra batteries, water and non-perishable food in case you happen to get stranded for an extended period of time.