SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The first significant snowfall of the season has meant a slow ride to work for commuters in western Massachusetts.
Local DPW and Mass DOT crews were out all morning salting and sanding to try to keep up with the accumulation of snow, which turned into slush on the roads in lower portions of the Pioneer Valley. State roads had been treated with salt and sand prior to the first flakes falling Wednesday night.
Fortunately, traffic volume is lower than on a typical Thursday morning, as schools are already closed, and many people are still vacationing between the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
Most area drivers have been taking it slow, but state police have reported several minor accidents and spinouts across the region. No major crashes had been reported in the early part of the morning commute.
The speed limit on the Massachusetts Turnpike has been reduced to 40 miles per hour, and tandem trailers and propane tankers have been prohibited.
If you do plan on heading out, here are some safe winter driving tips from AAA.
- Leave some extra distance between you and the car in front of you.
- Apply your brakes early and often.
- Make sure your tires are properly inflated.
- And don't use your cruise control while you're driving in snowy or icy conditions.
It's also important to remember that bridges and highway overpasses have a tendency to freeze first, since they're exposed to so much air.
One of the things you will have to keep in mind if you are driving Thursday is that there are a lot of restrictions of on-street parking. We have a complete list of parking bans on WWLP.com.