Black ice blanketed parts of the capital region Monday causing dangerous driving conditions and a number of accidents.
“Mostly slide offs, crashing into each other. Stuff like that. Due to the ice, said Tom Brennan, President of T & T Towing in Cohoes.
At least three accidents happened in Latham along or near Alternate route 7 and Route 9.
A seven-car crash also shut down the Crescent Bridge in Half moon.
Witnesses reported seeing cars sliding on the road in Amsterdam because they were unable to steer their vehicles properly due to the ice.
“They’re getting a little dicey around here,” said Saratoga resident Mike Ondreyko. “Right when I got off 787 I started to notice some slippery spots,” he said.
In Galway a tractor trailer veered off of Route 29.
The icy weather kept tow truck drivers at T & T Towing and elsewhere busy Brennan said is common in this type of weather.
“Ice is Ice,” Brennan said. “Four-wheel drive is great in the mud and the snow but when you have ice you get going. You got to stop,” he said.
“There’s always the impatient ones that want to,” said Neil Chippendale, who was driving through Clifton Park Monday night. “So they try to pass on the inside and they’re trying to cut in, which makes it even more dangerous,” he said.
“Brennan said he also warns drivers to slow down when they see tow truck drivers on the side of the road because they take a risk every time they respond to a call, especially with icy weather conditions.
According U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, tow truck drivers die in the line of duty as much as law enforcement officers responding to roadway incidents and more than fire or e-m-s workers.
Brennan, who is also the Empire State Towing and Recovery Association President, said while speed can play a part in many of the accidents seen in inclement weather, it isn’t always the cause.
“When it’s icy like this a lot of the accidents are slower moving accidents,” Brennan said. “They just have no control. They can’t steer they can’t stop,” he said.
He encourages drivers to stay home if they can.
“You need to wait it out,” he said. “Let the DOT workers get out there and get the rock salt and the sand,” Brennan said.
New York State Department of Transportation officials warn travelers to always be aware of black ice in the winter months that forms on roads, particularly in the early morning hours even when the sun is out.
It is more prevalent on bridges than highways.
So be extra cautions while traveling on bridges.