Attentive, Cautious Driving Should Be Priority In All Weather Conditions, TPD Says

Wednesday, March 4th 2015, 6:49 pm
By: News On 6

We all see drivers doing what they shouldn't especially when the roads are wet or slick.

At last check, EMSA responded to 15 wrecks today, including one on the Broken Arrow Expressway involving a Tulsa police officer who ended up with a broken nose.

Tulsa averages around 15,000 wrecks a year and a lot of them happen when the weather is bad.

We did a ridealong with Tulsa police Cpl. Steve Wood. He's been on the force more than 30 years and more than 20 of that has been in traffic enforcement. He said there are four basic rules everyone should follow when the roads are slick: pay attention, slow down, back off and signal your intentions.

He said paying attention should be obvious when you're barreling around in a 3,000-pound piece of metal, but many people get distracted by one thing or another.

"We should never have a rear-end wreck in Tulsa, but 60-70 percent of the are rear-enders, which is just plum not paying attention," Wood said.

Slowing down should be common sense when roads are slick, but Wood clocked one driver traveling 81 mph in a 65 mph zone on U.S. Highway 169.

"Need your driver's license and proof of insurance, please. How come you're driving like that?"

They said they were listening to music and didn't realize their speed. They got a ticket. The cheapest speeding ticket in Tulsa is $150 and they go up from there.

"We're doing 81 mph, which, even when the roads are fine, is way too fast,” Wood said. “You're a danger to everybody, including yourself."

Wood said most drivers have forgotten the two-second rule, but it's a great way to give yourself enough room in case the driver in front of you does something unexpected.

"Pick a spot on the road an when the rear end of that car hits that spot, it should be at least two seconds until the front end of your car hits that spot,” he said.

In bad weather, he said, it should be 3 or 4 seconds.

And he said, please use your turn signals.

"By signaling your intentions, other people driving around you know what you're getting ready to do so it doesn't take them by surprise," he said.

A good rule of thumb is to drive with the flow of traffic, Wood said, with everyone headed in the same direction at about the same speed. Going too slow can be just as dangerous as going too fast, even in bad conditions.