The wintry mix that hit Virginia Wednesday made for a busy day for the Virginia State Police.
In all, the state police responded to more than 680 crashes statewide in about 14 hours— 69 of those were in a region that includes Fairfax County.
State Police saw 46 disabled vehicles and 328 calls for service Wednesday in a region that includes Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun, Arlington and Alexandria.
In all, VSP received 1,920 calls for service Wednesday and responded to 686 traffic crashes statewide.
The majority of the crashes have involved only damage to vehicles and few injuries, although police were at the scene of a fatal crash Wednesday night in Campbell County. Statistics are from 12:01 a.m. Wednesday to 2 p.m. Wednesday.
The state saw a combination of snow, ice and rain Wednesday throughout the day. Weather forecasters are calling for high winds Thursday up to 50 MPH and are warning of "black ice" on roads.
"We do remind motorists to make safety a priority, especially as temperatures drop tonight," said Corinne Geller, state police spokeswoman, in a news release. "Ice does pose a serious threat particularly in the higher elevations."
The Virginia State Police offer these driving tips when the weather gets nasty:
- Drive for conditions. Slow down your speed when possible.
- Make sure your headlights, taillights and windshield wipers are in working order. Brush snow off your taillights, headlights and windows to increase visibility for yourself and other drivers.
- Increase driving distances. Give yourself more space between you and the vehicle in front of you…if you should lose control or the vehicle in front of you loses control, then you will need that extra driving space to safely react and stop.
- Always wear your seat belt.
- Give yourself extra drive time. Bring along your cell phone charger, and be prepared for winter travel…YouTube video and tips from VA Dept of Emergency Management on driver safety in winter weather: http://www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia/winter/winter-preparedness-week
- For those traveling in the regions experiencing mainly rain, remember that state law does require vehicles to have their headlights on when windshield wipers are activated. Also, beware of standing water as the heavy rains are causing water to pool on the roadways. Never go through high water.