Winter weather tips to keep you safe

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- The winter weather is finally here, but the extreme temperatures have caused trouble throughout the day on Kansas roads.

On Saturday morning, a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper was transported to the hospital after his patrol car collided with another vehicle on 1-70 near mile marker 347.

The severity of the trooper’s injuries is unknown, but another trooper and passengers in the other vehicle are said to be okay.

Dusty Nichols, Director of Shawnee County Emergency Management, says dangerous road conditions are hard to avoid.

"It's windy and it's dangerous outside. Wind chills are going to be below zero and that's a health hazard,” said Nichols. “We want people to bundle up; don't go out if you don't have to."

There are also ways to prepare for this cold blast: Nichols says to make sure you are dressed in warm clothing, double check that your car fluids are at the right levels and avoid driving at night, but most importantly always prepare for the worst.

"Plan as if you could get stuck,” said Nichols. “So think about those hazards that are out there, expect that you are going to fall because it is slick, expect that you are going to slide and allow yourself extra time and extra distance."

If you do get caught in an accident, try to get your car out of traffic’s way, note where you are at, and if the accident occurred during extreme weather avoid calling dispatch right away unless it’s severe.

"Right now the sheriff and the police department are in walk-in reporting which basically means that if you have a small accident or a fender bender just wait until it's nicer weather and walk in and report it,” said Nichols. “If it's an injury accident, somebody's intoxicated, or a vehicle is disabled in the middle of the road, those are the things we want you to call 911 for."