ODOT cautions drivers against speeding while road conditions are poor in the winter

Ohio Department of Transportation crews are working 12-hour shifts once more to clear the roadways as it continues to snow. But the way people are driving, according to ODOT drivers, are making things difficult for them.

Gary Casteel, an ODOT driver of over 20 years, said he sees the same issues each year. 

"Slow down a little bit, that's all they need to do," Casteel told Newschannel 5.

As he re-stocked his truck with salt, Casteel explained one of the most difficult parts of clearing the roads, is dealing with drivers who are heavy on the gas petal.

"I've seen people they're, they just want to pass me up all the time and I may have not treated that part of the road for maybe an hour or so." Casteel said he's seen plenty of vehicles lose control that way.

That may not have been the cause of 10-or-more accidents reported Saturday morning, but ODOT and emergency officials say the high number of accidents and spin-outs are mostly due to people not slowing down on slick or wet roads. 

For Casteel, he explained an accident could prevent plows from clearing that area.  More accidents also impacts fire and ambulance crews as Parma Fire Department Spokesperson, Doug Turner told us.

"If there's more accidents, we have more responses and our response is slower. Also, if there's snow on the road and the traffic is bad, it just takes us a little longer to get there," said Turner, adding that response time could make all the difference when responding to a life or death situation.

In Cleveland, a few drivers said they saw certain driving habits that have the potential to cause accidents. 

Anthony Mosby told NewsChannel 5, "On the freeways, especially on the West Side, people get scared you know.  When they panic, they tend to go a little bit faster or slower or a standstill. I think that doing that causes trouble for other people driving."

ODOT officials said other things that can cause trouble for drivers include the condition of your vehicle. 

Some tips:

-Brush ALL snow off your vehicle

-Check wiper blades (make sure they're new or in good condition)

-Refill windshield wiper fluid

-Make sure to check tires & tire pressure

Of course the best tip Casteel said, is to SLOW DOWN! Another helpful thing is to check the weather before you head out.

You can find out about driving conditions beforehand by checking newsnet5.com or ODOT's website: www.BuckeyeTraffic.org

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