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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

January 16, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Snow brings tenfold increase in car crashes

If you’re looking for proof that icy roads lead to fender benders, consider this: Washington State Patrol troopers responded to about 10 times more car collisions than usual this weekend.

In all, troopers filed reports on 553 crashes in King, Snohomish, Pierce, Thurston, Skagit, Whatcom and Island Counties counties on Saturday and Sunday, according to the agency.

Last weekend, they responded to 58.

Weather is doubtlessly to blame, officials said.

Trooper Guy Gill first tweeted about the higher rate of  collisions early Monday morning.

“Over the last 2 days troopers in Thurston and Pierce Co’s have handled 157 collisions. Remember my simple equation…Snow+Ice+Speed=Crash,” he wrote.

The tweet prompted us to compare that number to the number that division usually handles (14 last weekend, Gill said) and to request numbers for other Western Washington counties as well.

The spike is normal for the first snowfall of the season, officials said.

“The lesson for folks is to pack their patience and get their vehicles ready,” Trooper Keith Leary said. “And if they’re planning to venture out, take it slow. That’s slow in capital letters with an explanation mark.”

Comments | More in Traffic & Transit | Topics: car collisions, ice, road conditions

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