Indianapolis – While southern Indiana may have basked with temperatures in the mid 60’s, it has been a different story for the central northern portions of Indiana.  Since starting our tally of calls yesterday evening at 10:00 p.m. through 2:00 p.m. this afternoon, the Indiana State Police has responded to more than 380 property damage crashes, more than 60 injury crashes and a total of four fatal crashes.  We have also responded to over 150 slide offs as well as more than an additional 150 motorist assists. Now, as we look at weather forecasts calling for freezing rain in central Indiana, we urge the public to heed the warnings and to not travel unless there is a dire need involving some type of legitimate emergency.

State Police, as well as city and county police agencies across central Indiana, along with emergency medical personnel and State Highway personnel, will be responding to calls for medical emergencies, injury crashes and crashes that involve lane blockage and road closures throughout central Indiana over the next 12 to 24 hours.

Please remember, If involved in a minor crash where the vehicles are still drivable, state law requires they be moved to a safe area off the road.  Once moved, exchange information with the other involved driver and take photos for your insurance company.  State police and other law enforcement agencies will not respond to property damage crashes during extreme weather conditions.

If you have to drive due to an emergency, or you choose to ignore the warning to not travel, then you should ensure the following:

Your vehicle is in good mechanical condition
Your vehicle has a full tank of fuel
You have a charged cell phone and are capable of keeping it charged in your vehicle
You inform friends and family of your route of travel and expected arrival time and keep them informed if you are delayed
You should have an emergency kit in your car inclusive of at least these items:
Non-perishable food
A candle, matches or lighter
Shovel and abrasives such as driveway salt or sand
Extra clothing and blanket or sleeping bag
Emergency road side triangles, fuses or other emergency lighting device

It is not possible to “over prepare” for an automobile trip, no matter the distance, when weather conditions are expected to be extremely adverse, as recently forecasted.

Finally, please do not call the state police posts or other police agencies to ask about road conditions. The best source for local road and weather information is your favorite TV news or radio station.  Odds are that just looking out the window of your home will give you a good idea of your local conditions.

Additional winter preparedness tips for Hoosiers can be found at http://www.in.gov/dhs/3311.htm. Road conditions are accessible at http://indot.carsprogram.org/main.jsf. For up-to-date county travel statuses, Hoosiers are encouraged to visit http://www.in.gov/dhs/ traveladvisory/.

SOURCE: News release from Indiana State Police