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In the Lansing, Michigan area, over 30 accidents involving ice and snow have already been reported to Michigan State Police. One of these accidents tragically lead to the death of a 22-year-old driver and his 24-year-old passenger. All these accident occurred without any substantial ice or snow accumulations.

According to the Michigan State Police, the number of accidents this year has already surpassed last years number for the same time period. Everyone in the State of Michigan, fears these number could climb drastically. The reason behind this fear, Michigan and its’ local road commissions are having to cut back on the amount of salt used and the amount of overtime paid to workers this winter.

Most of Michigan’s road commissions are working on the same budget they had 10 years ago, but with the increased cost of fuel and salt, this budget does not stretch as far as it used to. Instead most areas will be forced to mix more sand into the salt mixture they use. Also, Michigan residents should not count on side streets or even smaller more heavily traveled roads to be plowed on the first day of a storm. It may be a couple of days, if at all, for these streets to be plowed.

What can residents do to protect themselves while driving on snowy and icy roads. First, Slow Down, especially when road conditions are snowy or icy and visibility is low. Second, keep at least one car length of distance between your vehicle and others. Third, do not pump your vehicle’s anti-lock brakes. Fourth, accelerate and brake slowly, and avoid abrupt steering, especially when merging and changing lanes. Remember defensive driving in snowy and icy conditions saves lives.

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