FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Between 6 a.m. and 3:20 p.m. on Wednesday, Indiana State Police worked six personal injury crashes, 22 property damage crashes, 20 slide offs, and assisted 16 stranded drivers.

During a ride-along with WANE 15, Sergeant Brian Walker said the two main mistakes people make driving in snowy conditions are going to fast and hitting the brakes when they start to slide.

“Number one, the biggest problem is speed. People are going faster than they should be going,” Walker said. “People get on the brake when they start sliding thinking that’s going to stop their vehicle, but actually getting on your brakes locks your tires and it causes you to slide even more.”

Ultimately the solution to the problem is to not be out on the roads if you can avoid it. Sgt. Walker said it’s best to stay home if you don’t have a critical reason to be driving.

“We’re not telling people they can’t be out, but it just doesn’t make good sense sometimes to be out unnecessarily. You’re taking a risk with your own safety, with your family’s safety and what could be the safety of others as well, especially if you’re not driving responsibly,” he said.

If someone does have to drive and gets in a crash, whether it’s a collision with another vehicle or other property, Sgt. Walker suggests calling 911 right away to report the crash.

While some agencies may not respond to crashes that don’t involve injuries during serious weather events, he says it’s best to call and report it, regardless of how much or how little damage resulted.

“You should at least call 911, report your crash, your location, and see if you can get an officer to come out and assist you at that scene,” Walker explained.

He said it’s important to have a responding officer come file a report, if necessary.

State police always want to remind drivers that if they get in a crash or slide off on the side of the interstate or a major highway, to stay in their car with the seatbelt on.

If another car happens to slide into you, that’s the best way to protect yourself.

They also want to remind drivers that cars stranded on the sides of highways usually can be there for 24 hours, but during major snow events they will be towed after about an hour in order to clear the way for plow drivers to continue their work.

Walker said it’s best to make your own arrangements for a tow as quickly as possible when it’s needed.