Clear winter roads keep us safe and the economy humming

Clear winter roads keep us safe and the economy humming

(BPT) – Across the U.S., more than 70 percent of the population lives in areas affected by snow and ice. Each winter the average driver in these areas will see more than 5 inches of snow on the roads. And when the snow is falling there are few things more comforting than the sight of snowplows and salt trucks making highways safe for commuters, shoppers and travelers.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, snowy, slushy or icy pavement accounts for more than 116,000 Americans injured and over 1,300 killed each year. In fact, 24 percent of all weather-related vehicle crashes occur under such wintry conditions. A study by Marquette University found that effective use of road salt reduced vehicle crashes by 88 percent, injuries by 85 percent and the cost of accidents by 85 percent.

In the Snow Belt, citizens expect roads to always be cleared of snow and ice, no matter how bad the storm, says Bret Hodne, public works director for West Des Moines, Iowa. To help meet those sky-high expectations, Hodne orders salt months before the first snowflake falls. His motto is “don’t trust your climate” because if you plan for an average season, it’s bound to be a record-setting winter of snow and ice.

Salt was first used in the 1930s for snow and ice control, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that salt became widely adopted by snowfighters as one of the major weapons to keep winter roads safe. In an average Iowa winter, Hodne’s department alone uses 4,000 tons of salt and keeps twice that amount in storage. Salt works by lowering the freezing point of water and when applied on already frozen roadways (deicing) it helps to melt the ice. When salt is applied before a freeze sets in (anti-icing) it helps prevent liquid water from becoming ice. This is why drivers will often see salt trucks out and about before the roads start to freeze.

Health & Fitness

Both methods give tires more traction with the pavement, keeping roads open and safe while protecting lives and commerce. How quickly salt melts frozen water is dependent upon a number of variables, including temperature, time and the rate of application. Fortunately, it is usually not necessary to melt all the snow and ice on a road. Merely destroying or preventing the bond between pavement and frozen water is a more efficient, economical and environmentally sensitive approach. In fact, salt is the single most effective and economical method for treating roadways.

In addition to enhancing the safety of our roads in winter conditions, those snowplows are doing a lot to improve mobility. Snowfighters reduce weather-caused delays and congestion, allowing for emergency vehicles to respond more quickly when people need help, making for shorter travel times for families, allowing kids and parents to get to school and jobs safely and on time.

In fact, a study by IHS Global Insight for the American Highway Users Alliance found that snow- and ice-related delays and shutdowns hurt hourly workers the most. This study also placed a monetary value on fast and effective snow removal and salting. According to the researchers, a state can incur economic losses of between $ 300 million and $ 700 million every day that roads are closed and impassable. So, those snowplows are not just helping keep families together and safe, they are helping to keep the lifeblood of our commerce pumping during winter storms – a thing for which we can all be thankful!


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In the wake of the devastation of Emon, Vox Machina begin making their long term plans to take back the city. But first, they must decide whether or not to make a devil’s bargain with the Clasp: a dangerous underground criminal organization.

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Dangerous Dealings | Critical Role RPG Show Episode 42 Dangerous Dealings | Critical Role RPG Show Episode 42

15 Responses to “Clear winter roads keep us safe and the economy humming”

  1. Ruebari Reply

    Gahhhh! Metagaming. :((

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  2. Yagotta Kidding Reply

    Grog was the wiser again, preventing the scrying on Thordak. Wow, Keyleth again almost messed up someone else's spell. But the firestorm was classy.

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  3. Kathryn Livingston Reply

    4/6 people were on team "no contract" 2/6 were on team "contract" the community likes to complain like Keyleth made that decision on her own for the team… people just like to make up reasons to be upset yo.

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  4. mega slayer Reply

    Anyone else getting the very strong feeling that Percy just wants to be a Cid

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  5. ATG913 Reply

    1:39:00 Matt: "Keyleth, you're up." Sam: "Oh boy…"

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  6. Mithian Reply

    Percy is amazing. His oneliners are epic

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  7. John Wargo Reply

    Hate to be "that guy", especially after so long and after Matt makes a ruling, but, once again, that's not how Transport via Plants works. At 12 level, Keyleith would be able to take 4 up to Medium size companions with her. She would need to lead the way, each time. And it is suppose to be the same breed of tree at each end, elm to elm, oak to oak. It's an awesome sounding spell, and I love the Rule of Cool application in this case, but it is not meant to be a replacement for an Arcane teleportation.

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  8. Jack Davis Reply

    "I've never been to Whitestone…is it cold there?"
    "In the winter…"
    "It's winter!"

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  9. Attis Rebirth Reply

    I hate goodie good character like Keyleth, they lost a good ally

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  10. Worldweaver Reply

    Absolutely hated Keyleth on this episode. Of course, kudos to Marisha for keeping up a consistency of the character (I don't hate Marisha or her RP, just the character ? ). Druids have literally no place on civilized cities, they don't understand how they work. And they shouldn't. They're druids. But meddling with the affairs of a city while you know nothing about it, makes the matters worst. This wasn't any random deal they had the option to do or not. This was for creating a network across the continent and have fast access to ANYONE, ally or foe. Percy understands how these things work, being a noble family member and ruler of a major city and honestly they should've let him handle everything. Even in real history, shadowy organizations ALWAYS helped the people in dire times. Take for example the mafia organizations in USA AND Europe during WW2. They were the only means to move products, medicine and weaponry across any country without getting caught, thus helping the allied forces against the Nazis. It's how things work. It's how Percy said. They are the next thing to a functionable government. Plus they really didn't ask for anything other than an introduction to Vasselheim which VM would have to deal MUCH later. Keeping everyone close means keeping a better control over everything.

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  11. Øystein Tovsland Reply

    Keyleth stuck to her guns and I liked that. If everyone just agrees all the time it makes the characters really meh and puppet-like to me.

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  12. sonicblaster33 Reply

    I hate all the shit Mirisha gets, but I think they should have gone with the Clasp's deal

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  13. Zachary Alexander Reply

    Does Keyleth become less obnoxious later on? Not to hate, she's just too stubborn and self righteous. It's the character really, but still I don't like how it affects the dynamic. Is she always going to be like this?

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  14. sillyking1991 Reply

    percy literally bears "Bad News"…and yet is not good at being the "bearer of bad news"…the irony is amazing

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  15. SpideyKid2001 Reply

    I can't be the only one who absolutely adores the Keep staff

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