(WWLP) — Numerous accidents were reported on highways and secondary roads around western Massachusetts Friday. Multiple tractor trailers jackknifed on the Massachusetts Turnpike in Palmer and Sturbridge, causing massive delays on both sides of the highway. The westbound side of the Pike in Palmer was completely closed for hours.
A total of three tractor trailers were involved in a crash in Sturbridge, the drivers of those trucks were taken to the hospital with injuries, and a single tractor trailer jackknifed in Palmer.
Meanwhile, State Police have reduced the speed limit on the Pike down to 40 miles per hour from the New York state line, all the way to Route 128 in Weston.
A section of Interstate 91 in Franklin County had to be shut down during the morning, due to several accidents over the state line in Vermont. One involving a milk truck had the highway closed north of Exit 28 in Bernardston until around 3:00 P.M.
Route 2 westbound past the Home Depot in Greenfield had been shut down at around 7:45 while the road surface was being treated. State Police in say that there was an incident in which roughly 10-15 cars slid off the road on Route 2 in Shelburne Falls.
To the west, an accident involving a tractor trailer had shut down lanes on the Massachusetts Turnpike westbound in Blandford.
22News is working for you with safety reminders from the Massachusetts State Police:
- Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights – even the hood and roof- before driving
- Leave plenty of room for stopping.
- Pay attention don’t try to out drive the conditions. Remember the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.
- Use brakes carefully. Brake early. Brake correctly. It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.
- Bridge decks freeze first. Due to the difference in the exposure to air, the surface condition can be worse on a bridge than on the approach road.
- Exit ramps are an even greater challenge during the winter since they may have received less anti-icing material than the main line. Be aware of this when exiting the highway.
- Don’t use the “cruise control” option driving in wintry conditions. Even roads that appear clear can have sudden slippery spots and the slightest touch of your brakes to deactivate the cruise control can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
- Don’t get overconfident in your 4×4 vehicle. Remember that, if you are driving a four wheel drive vehicle, the vehicle may help you get going quicker but it won’t help you stop any quicker. Many 4×4 vehicles are heavier than passenger vehicles and actually may take longer to stop. Don’t get overconfident in your 4×4 vehicle’s traction.
- Look further ahead in traffic than you normally do. Actions by cars and trucks will alert you quicker to problems and give you a split-second extra time to react safely.
- Remember that trucks are heavier than cars. Trucks take longer to safely respond and come to a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them.
- Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows – stay back at least 200 feet and don’t pass on the right. (See additional information below.)
- Most importantly please remember to SLOW DOWN! Also, seat belts should be worn at all times – it’s the law.