Local auto shop gives safety tips for driving through snow

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The first heavy snow in the Tri-Cities brought more than just snow and ice, as many accidents have been reported in the area.

The Hastings Police Department said they received 16 accident reports Thursday due to the icy road conditions.

Pat's Auto Repair & Towing responded to several of the accident calls this afternoon. Workers there have some safety tips for drivers this winter season.

"Being the first snow of the year, people just need to remember it's slick," said Todd Tharp, tow and shop manager for Pat's. "Slow down. People think they can drive the speed limit and it doesn't work. You know you just have to drive for the conditions. If it's slushy people think slush isn't slick, and slush is as bad or worse as ice is."

Tharp said there are some things people should check on their cars before driving around in the cold weather.

He said to always check the tire pressure, and make sure the tred is working.

It's also good to check your coolant, exhaust and car battery, and to have a full tank of gas.

Tharp said they do get a lot of calls for accidents at intersections, so you should always allow enough time to top at traffic lights.

"Don't expect the other person to do what you think they should do. We've had a rash of accidents of people running stop signs, and the last guy always wants to beat the light so they speed up and go through a red light. So people just need to pay attention," Tharp said.

He said people need to be patient in these types of weather conditions, and drive under the speed limit if necessary.

He also said it's a good idea to see a mechanic this time of year to make sure your car is functioning properly.