OPP respond to more than 50 vehicle crashes in southwestern Ontario

The Ontario Provincial Police say they've responded to more than 50 vehicle crashes as sloppy weather makes for rough driving conditions.

Police urging drivers to use caution on area roads

Ontario Provincial Police are urging drivers to be cautious as they continue to respond to weather related accidents on Friday. (Ontario Provincial Police)

Provincial police have responded to more than 50 vehicle crashes in the southwestern part of the province Friday afternoon. 

Officers patrolling in the west region, which ranges from Wellington County to Windsor responded to dozens of incidents as freezing weather creates rough driving conditions 

"It's probably going to be a lot more," said Const. Ed Sanchuk.

5 truck collisions in Essex County

Police in Essex County asked area motorists to stay off the road unless necessary and to drive with "extreme caution."

Const. Jim Root said officers responded to more than 20 collisions Friday, including five involving tractor trailers on Highway 401 between Windsor and Tilbury.

In Chatham-Kent, OPP officers responded to more than 15 weather-related incidents in just four hours Friday.

"The 401 to Windsor right now I can tell you that there's a tractor trailer jackknifed at mile marker 80," said Sanchuk during a live broadcast from the 402 near Putnam, Ont.

He added police have also had issues with collisions at on-ramps on highway 402 heading to Sarnia.

Summer driving, winter weather

Sanchuk specifically asked drivers of tractor trailers to be cautious on area highways.

"We're having tractor trailer drivers drive down the road like it's summer conditions," said Sanchuk, noting some may feel comfortable driving at normal speeds because their heavier loads helps them grip the road. 

"Please slow down and stay out of the fast lane."

Texting and passing a snowplow

The other stand out point for Sanchuk was the number of people on their cell phones.

"I was actually shocked with the amount of people texting and driving during this snow storm," said Sanchuk.

He said he noticed people driving past snowplows while texting as snow continued to fall on the highways. 

Watch the road from a salt truck