Dane County Sheriff's Office dash cam video shows dangers of winter weather

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Dash came video shared with NBC15 from the Dane County Sheriff's Office demonstrates just how dangerous driving through wintry conditions can be for drivers throughout the county.

In footage taken on Tuesday, deputies can be seen helping dig out a driver stuck in the snow after a slide off, pushing a car up an icy hill in downtown Madison, as well as a deputy putting caution tape on a vehicle to let other officials know it had been seen.

The Sheriff's Office said during these conditions, it's best to play it safe.

"The biggest thing is slow down, allow yourself extra time to get where you’re going," said Elise Schaffer, public information officer for the Dane County Sheriff's Office. "A lot of times if you can stay home, we would encourage you to do that, we don’t necessarily want people out on the roads when they’re this bad if they don’t have to be.”

The incidents in the dash cam video reflect the situations deputies have been dealing with throughout the winter storms this season, and with the recent snowfall over icy roads.

"Our deputies are responding to a lot of slide offs, thankfully we haven’t had a lot of major crashes, but some minor ones for sure, stranded vehicles, vehicles in the ditch, things like that,” Schaffer said.

The Madison Police Department also cautioned drivers to be prepared if they have to head out of the house.

Officer Alexandra Nieves Reyes said drivers should let people know where they're going and how long it should take them to get there.

"Slow down," she said. "We're going to get there eventually. So slow down."

Officer Nieves Reyes also said that the weather has been keeping Madison Police officers on the go.

"It's been busy," she said. "There’s a lot of self reporting because of the weather, there’s limited response and certain things that we can safely respond to. There have been a lot, so be mindful that we might not get there in our record time.”

Because of the weather and the volume of calls, officers may take longer than usual to arrive at a scene. Because of that, MPD recommends having an emergency kit in your car.

If you were to slide off, Officer Nieves Reyes said drivers should call for help, put on their hazard lights, and stay inside the vehicle so as not to expose themselves to the elements.

Another thing Officer Reyes Nieves said to keep in mind is the fact that with so many school closings, kids are out and about, which could lead to a dangerous situation in a snowy setting with low visibility.

“One thing that has been different than other years is a lot of kids are staying home from school because the schools are closed, so keep that in mind that there are kids out there that cannot stay inside and they’re bored out of their mind," she said. "So be careful when you drive in residential areas, when you are in your street and your little mini malls. Kids love the high piles of snow, so be considerate of that."