Overall the Eaton County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to 874 calls for service/events. Our higher call volumes occurred in the following areas: Alarms (21), Car/Deer Accidents (12), Assist Citizen/- Motorist Assists (36), Check Well Beings (27), Domestic Disputes (13), Shoplifting Complaints (23), Larcenies (16), Breaking & Entering (11), Property Damage Hit & Run (8), Unwanted Subject (10), Property Damage Crashes (48), Suspicious Subject/Situation/Vehicle (49), Traffic Hazards (31), Traffic Stops (161), Traffic Violations (36), and Vacation Checks (18).
This winter has been unusual to say the least. We can experience temperatures in the 40’s for a couple days, then we find ourselves waking up with temp’s in the single digits. When what snow we do have melts, we all tend to get complacent in the way we drive. We may sleep in a few minutes longer because the roads will be good so we know it won’t take us as long to get take the kids to school and then get to work. But then we get hit with another round of accumulating snow and possibly freezing rain. This is never a good combination and requires us to take extra caution not only in our own driving abilities in but in watching and leaving plenty of room for those drivers sharing the road with us.
Before You Start Out –
- Clean your car’s external camera lenses and side view mirrors so you’ll be able to see what’s around you
- Remove dirt, ice and snow from sensors to allow the assistive-driving features like automatic emergency braking to work
- In frigid weather, you may want to warm up the car before you drive it
- To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, never leave a vehicle running in your garage – even with the garage door up
- If the forecast looks iffy, wait out the storm if possible; if you must travel, share your travel plans and route with someone before you leave
Winter driving Tips -
- Avoid using cruise control in wintry conditions
- Steer in the direction of a skid, so when your wheels regain traction, you don’t have to overcorrect to stay in your lane
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly
- Increase following distance to 8 to 10 seconds
- If possible, don’t stop when going uphill
- If visibility is severely limited due to a whiteout, pull off the road to a safe place and do not drive until conditions improve. Avoid pulling off onto the shoulder unless it is an absolute emergency. Limited visibility means other vehicles can’t see yours on the shoulder.
We all forget that driving in Michigan in the winter takes skill that is not learned overnight. Just to give you an idea, since January 1st the Sheriff’s Office has responded to 153 cars in the ditch, 55 personal injury crashes, 297 property damage crashes, and 65 property damage hit and run incidents. Please give yourself extra time if you have to drive on icy, snow-covered roads.
Yours in Public Safety,
Sheriff Tom Reich