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Commuters get crash course in winter driving | News

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Commuters get crash course in winter driving
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Drivers were surprised Tuesday to find several inches of snow had fallen overnight and through the morning, making their commute just a little bit more treacherous.

Out on rural roads, the conditions were miserable, as to be expected, and on the South Hill the road conditions on certain streets, like Freya, was also miserable. In one crash, a driver left the road near the intersection of 17th and Perry and hit a home as he tried to avoid hitting cars that were backed up on the road. Minor damage was done to the home.

Renee Schafer recently moved back to Spokane from California and was busy Tuesday morning dropping her oldest daughter off at preschool and then running errands with her youngest.

"We went down 29th and it was pretty fine, I just drove slower," she said.

Drivers were quick to point out the shortcomings of their fellow drivers on the first morning with snow on the ground this fall.

"Braking sooner and just breaking," Schafer said. "Some people forget to just brake a little earlier or just pull out a little slower, but I notice some people are just cruising on, you know, just driving normally like it is not a big deal."

"Yes the freeways are scary, people forget that it is icy," Debbie Eric Daines said.

"Tailgating would probably be the one thing to watch out for," Steve Helberg said. "You need a lot more space to slow down."

Helberg lives up in the hills above Freeman High School. He noticed a couple of slide-offs but didn't really have any trouble himself, though it might not have everything to do with how he drives as much as what he drives.

"I have a Subaru, so I didn't really notice the snow much," he laughed.

So how miserable were the roads Tuesday? The Washington State Patrol reports its troopers responded to 70 accidents and collisions in our area Tuesday.

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