Weather-related traffic problems plague Jefferson County


by Adrianna Hopkins

Posted on January 26, 2010 at 11:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 27 at 12:47 AM

Tuesday's weather proved very tricky for drivers. The city racked up hundreds of accidents, some with injuries, others were slide offs causing  car damage. 10 of those accidents involved school buses.

This was not the way Kristen Shoemaker was expecting her daughter's bus ride to go this morning. But, shortly before 9:00 a.m. Metro Police say a Thunderbird slid across Preston Highway, jumped the median and crashed head on into JCPS bus #543.

Three students and the driver of the car were taken to the hospital including Wilt Elementary first grader Tara Shoemaker.

"I bent my back and my neck hurt," she said. "Does it still hurt?" "No."

"I feel better that she's doing fine and back to normal..." said her mother, Kristen Shoemaker. "My concern is what's going to happen tomorrow and the day after that? I'm not comfortable putting her on the bus tomorrow."

Well, the next time snow dusts the roads and highways, everyone may be a little nervous about getting behind the wheel.

Tuesday from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Metro Police responded to 425 motor vehicle accidents.

JCPS counts at least 10 school bus accidents.

"It's a little surprising to me..." said National Program Manager of Tire Rack Street Survival, Bill Wade.

Bill Wade teaches teenagers to drive better. But after today's traffic problems he has advice for drivers of all ages, even if you've heard it all before.

"If the conditions outside have changed, you need to change the way you're driving," he said. "If you're starting to slide, putting on your brakes is the worst thing to do because you're already sliding. Stopping on that is not going to help you. You should be steering into the skid. If the back of the car feels like it's coming around on you, you should be steering into the skid until you feel those back wheels grab a little bid."

It's advice that could be useful at the end of the week, when more snow is in the forecast.