Harrisonburg police say when bad weather hits, don't go out on roads if you don't have to.
"I would have to say there's not a snow storm that has gone by where we haven't seen several significant crashes," says Sgt. R.L. Metcalf, who has worked for the Harrisonburg Police Department for about seven years.
Metcalf says says he's seen a number of weather-related vehicle accidents, from minor fender benders to fatal accidents.
"We recommend any unnecessary travel be avoided if possible. Just the shear number of cars on the road increases the likelihood of an accident. Also, its going to increase the congestion that occurs," says Metcalf.
If driving in bad weather conditions is a must, Metcalf suggests that drivers reduce their speed, constantly evaluate road conditions by checking the road for icy spots, and always increase the space between their own vehicle and the car in front.
"Also you need to think about, if your on a multi-lane highway, if there are vehicles to your left and right or beside you, you need to also make sure you increase the space there too, " says Metcalf.
He also says it's important to know how to operate your car properly if it starts to skid.
"Most people need to understand that you can not break the car and steer the car at the same time," says Metcalf. "If you've heard the old saying, if your wheels don't roll, you don't have control."
Out of all these safety tips, there's one Metcalf just can't stress enough.
He says, "Please, if you don't have to be out in inclement weather, please don't take a chance on it."
Metcalf also stresses keeping a cell phones handy for emergency calls, but do not use them while driving. AAA mid-Atlantic would also like to remind drivers to keep blankets, ice scrapers, flash lights and jumper cables in their car during the winter months.