Slippery conditions lead to numerous spin-outs, crashes

WPRI/Justin White

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow blanketed Southern New England Tuesday morning, causing slick conditions on area roads.

The wintry mix has changed over to rain, but drivers are still urged to use caution as crews work to clear the slushy, slippery roadways.

In all, Rhode Island State Police responded to 21 accidents overnight into Tuesday morning.

“That’s typical for the first storm of the year,” said Capt. Dennis Fleming. “The majority of the accidents were in the northern part of the state, with more commuting, going to work.”

A Jeep spun out early Tuesday morning on I-95 South in Warwick, causing damage to its front and back bumpers.

In Johnston, a rollover was reported on the ramp to Route 6 on I-295. Eyewitness News cameras were rolling as the car was being towed away.

Photo Gallery: First storm of Winter 2015-16 »
Photo Gallery: First storm of Winter 2015-16 »

Capt. Fleming said no one was hurt in the accidents. He attributed most of the spin-outs to drivers once again getting used to winter and possibly misreading the mix of freezing rain and sleet as simply rain.

“I think people underestimate black ice when you don’t see it like snow,” he said. “They tend not to believe that the roads aren’t in the best condition.”

If you do spin out, Capt. Fleming advised to stay in your car and call police.

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The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) has been tweeting reports of various slide-offs and spin-outs that have temporarily closed highway lanes. The agency said highway conditions are starting to improve, though secondary roads remain a concern.

With police and tow trucks responding to these various accidents, Rhode Island State Police urge drivers to slow down so you’ll have enough time to react and make way for first responders.

Drivers are also reminded to leave plenty of space around plow trucks and between your vehicle and others around you.

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