Freezing rain, snow and sleet are wreaking havoc for Northeast Arkansas highways and drivers this weekend. Jonesboro police received ten calls on Friday for weather-related accidents.
There were fifteen accidents reported to county dispatch across Craighead, Poinsett and Mississippi counties. One was reported along I-555, and another occurred near Highway 18.
According to local tow truck drivers, the fumbles on the road are common during severe weather conditions. A lot of the roads in Jonesboro are flat, and look dry, which makes it tempting for drivers to speed, and not spot black ice.
"We picked up a Toyota Camry a while here ago, it slid off the ditch and hit the median, says Daniel Soule of Double D Towing in Jonesboro. He'd kept busy all morning and afternoon responding to calls from stranded drivers, drivers that hydroplaned. And ones that completely flipped over.
"They feel comfortable because they see some dry roads, but then they get to those little spots, they start sliding off into the ditches." Soule adds, "A lot of areas where there's no buildings, [and] it's just flatland, the wind goes over that highway and turns it to ice pretty quick."
Black ice forms when the air is at or below 32 degrees. Ground temperature causes precipitation to freeze on impact. Once you drive over black ice, you are at the mercy of your vehicle, and the ice until your car passes over it.
"Make sure you're slowing down before you hit the ice, don't wait until your car is already on the ice to stop." states Soule.
Soule also says he's seen more drivers with bald tires. He advises getting the tires replaced, or staying off the road altogether.