RICHMOND, Va. — Several warnings went out to Virginia residents, advising them to avoid traveling during the winter storm, but police said crashes were still happening.
Virginia State Police said they were on the scene of 16 traffic crashes and eight disabled vehicles on Sunday, Jan. 31 around 2 p.m., during the ongoing storm. They responded to nearly 270 traffic crashes and 240 disabled vehicles since the calls started coming in around midnight.
From midnight up until about 2 p.m., state troopers had been out to at least 252 traffic crashes and 231 vehicles that had gotten stuck due to the storm.
Police said most of the crashes that happened only damaged the vehicles.
These are the various areas that VSP responded to, as of 2 p.m.:
- Richmond Division -- 44 Disabled Vehicles & 89 Traffic Crashes
- Culpeper Division -- 24 Disabled Vehicles & 24 Traffic Crashes
- Appomattox Division -- 37 Disabled Vehicles & 30 Traffic Crashes
- Wytheville Division -- 31 Disabled Vehicles & 13 Traffic Crashes
- Chesapeake Division -- 35 Disabled Vehicles & 43 Traffic Crashes
- Salem Division -- 42 Disabled Vehicles & 45 Traffic Crashes
- Fairfax Division -- 24 Disabled Vehicles & 16 Traffic Crashes
VDOT crews are working to safely treat the highways but are urging residents to continue to avoid traveling Sunday afternoon into the evening so that the roads can be open.
Here are some safety tips to follow from VSP, if you must travel:
- Make sure all windows and lights are clear of snow before heading out.
- Always buckle up – driver and all passengers.
- Drive distraction-free – put down the phone and coffee, and keep both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
- Slow speed for conditions.
- Use headlights to increase your visibility and to help other drivers see you better.
- Share the road responsibly with VDOT vehicles and emergency vehicles.