Road conditions deteriorate as storm moves toward Sioux Falls

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Many drivers are calling it quits in Sioux Falls as the storm begins moving into the area.
Love’s Travel Stop near the Cliff Avenue exit off I-90 is packed with semi drivers who say there doesn't have to be snow on the ground for them to stop for the night.
“When it ices up it's time to pull over,” Donnie Bartlett, a truck driver from Alabama said.

Sioux Falls only saw flurries by late afternoon Monday, but the conditions were icy enough to give truck drivers the red light.

“I was planning to get to Council Bluffs and about ten miles north of here I couldn't keep my windshield clean. It was iced up. Roads are icing up fast around here,” Bartlett said.

“Everybody knows during snow storms we have multiple crashes around the loop in Sioux Falls,” Sergeant Steve Swenson with the South Dakota Highway Patrol said.

He says the areas of I-29 and I-229 that run through Sioux Falls see some of the highest interstate crash numbers in the state during winter storms.

“There's a lot of traffic, especially during rush hour both in the morning and the evening. You have a lot of people merging into traffic because of the number of on and off ramps,” he said.

The storm moving through our region comes just days after another massive pile-up on Interstate 35 in Iowa.
Sergeant Swenson says drivers should be on the lookout to avoid adding to these chain-reaction crashes.

“A good precaution to use is to anticipate that there are crashes because there's going to be,” he said.

Another precaution? Slowing down.

“You have to substantially reduce your speed when the roads are icy or snow covered,” he said.

And drivers shouldn't be this close to other vehicles.
It's recommended to be 10 seconds away from other cars.

“When the weather's poor you should double or triple your following distance,” he said.

If you need help gauging how far you are from other vehicles, Swenson says find a land mark and when the car in front of you passes it, count to ten.
If you hit the same landmark before the 10 seconds are up, you might want to slow down.