Ottawa County Sheriff's Office responded to 119 crashes on Thursday, Dec. 7, during West Michigan's first brush with snowy, icy roads this year.

No fatalities were reported as of noon Thursday, but a three-car injury, which occurred at 10:50 a.m. on US-31 at Quincy St. in Holland Twp. led to serious injury for the driver of one vehicle and the loss of a pet dog.

A breakdown of the crashes:

  • 75 property damage crashes
  • 11 injury crashes
  • 33 slide offs

The sheriff's office provided these winter driving tips:

SLOW DOWN! – Posted speed limits are for ideal travel conditions. Driving at reduced speeds is the best precautionary measure against any misfortune while driving on slippery roads. “Black ice is invisible”

Give yourself plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you. This gives you more time to react to an event in front of you and may avoid a collision. 8-10 seconds, this increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.

Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads. Drive with your headlights on low beam during adverse weather conditions.

If you become stuck in the snow, stay with your vehicle. It provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Don’t try to walk in a severe storm. It’s easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost or if walking, hit by a passing vehicle.

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