Staying safe this winter and avoiding car accidents is a priority for everyone.

Recent data released by the Georgia State Highway Patrol indicates the state is prepared for the Winter of 2011/2012. The department says that maintenance crews will be working 12 hour shifts covering the highways 24 hours a day during ice and snow conditions.

The city of Atlanta has 6300 pounds of salt, 7000 tons of stone and gravel mix, and 34 spreader truck/plow vehicles ready to go to work. Statewide, the state has even more — about 25,000 tons of salt and 47,000 tons of stone and gravel mix and more than 300 spreader/plows ready to roll.

The state defines three levels of severe winter weather:

Level 1 kicks in when there is minor snowfall and limited icing activity. Crews are dispatched to take care of salting or sanding bridges and overpasses where required.

Level 2 is when there is moderate snowfall (less than two inches) and icy conditions for between 24 and 48 hours. When this occurs, the state deploys scout vehicles that pre-treat bridges and overpasses with de-icers where needed, and put down stone and gravel mix or salt to help clear the roadways.

When Level 3 road conditions are present, it’s best to stay off the roads, but Level 3 is when there is significant snowfall of over two inches and/or icy conditions that have been present for at least 48 hours. That is when the GDOT deploys vehicles from all districts to scout, treat, plow, sand and spread aggregate to keep the roads safe. In these conditions, driving can be extremely hazardous..

To avoid a car or truck accident this winter, be smart about staying in when weather conditions would make roads difficult for driving.

If you are in an accident and are injured, the second call you should make, after getting the medical treatment you need, is to a personal injury attorney. David Van Sant is an Alpharetta accident lawyer who works with indivdiuals and professional drivers who have been injured in an automobile or other accident. To reach David Van Sant, click here.

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