Ride Along: Richland PD gives tips on how to drive safer in winter conditions

RICHLAND, WA- Washington State Patrol helped with 300 crashes and the first big snow event of the season hit the Tri-Cities. 

Each city in the region had their own fair share of accidents causing traffic trouble, backups, and delays. 

NBC Right Now, rode along with Richland Police Department earlier to watch out and offer tips to drivers as they maneuvered the icy roads. 

Richland police say more accidents are expected when a couple inches of snow is on the ground.

Officer Eric Edwards said he personally responded to more than 10 calls yesterday and even more this morning as drivers made their way through the morning commute. 

Edwards said a lot of these accidents are avoidable and many drivers blame the snow and city for not clearing street, when ultimately it really is up to the driver themselves. 

"We're just not set up for big storms in the Tri-Cities, they do the best they can... but they rely on drivers to show some kind of ownership to being out there," Edwards said. 

Edwards said there are many steps drivers can take before they too become a statistic and driving slowly is at the top of the list.

"Drive slow, you'll even see the police officers and fire departments they drive slow in the snow too...because they have to get to where they are going...they don't want to take that risk of crashing either," Edwards said. 

Biggest tips for drivers are:

  1. Brake earlier.
  2. Pay attention to what's going on around you.
  3. Make sure you give yourself enough space between you and the car in front of you. 

"If you can stay home then stay home your chances of getting into a bad collision where your hurt is much less if your sitting at home," Edwards said. 

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