Wintery weather forecast calls for caution behind the wheel
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
With temperatures dropping and forecasts looking grim, Senator Dillard is reminding Illinois motorists to be cautious when driving in snow or when roads are icy.
Safety experts at the Illinois Dept. of Transportation (IDOT) say that when it comes to driving in winter conditions the first question motorists should ask themselves should be: “Is this trip absolutely essential?” Often travel can be delayed until the wintery conditions abate, or roads have been cleared by snow plows.
If travel is necessary, motorists are encouraged to check road conditions along their planned route so they know what to expect. Road condition reports for Illinois’ interstates and freeways are updated every two hours and made available to the public at 1-800-452-IDOT, at www.dot.statel.il.us, and at Interstate rest stops.
Motorists are encouraged to inform someone that they will be traveling, and to make plans to “check in” once they arrive at their final destination. Be sure to fill the gas tank before leaving, and frequently re-fill the tank while traveling.
Once on the road, IDOT officials stress the importance of buckling seatbelts, keeping windows clear of snow and ice, and adjusting speed for the weather conditions and to match the flow of traffic.
If the pavement is snow or ice covered, start slowly and brake gently; begin braking early when approaching an intersection. If the vehicle starts to slide on ice or snow, ease off the gas pedal or brakes. Steer into the direction of the skid until traction has been regained, then straighten the vehicle.
For more information on what to do if winter conditions force you off the road, visit the IDOT winter driving tips web page. IDOT experts also offer helpful tips on what to include in a winter emergency survival kit and more on how to drive in inclement weather.
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