CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced today that road conditions in some areas of the state are still snow and ice covered, making travel dangerous for motorists. Currently, more than 1,300 trucks are assigned to snow duty in impacted areas across the state, and nearly 1,440 employees are on the job to help ensure roads are clear and passable. Currently, all state-maintained roadways are open.
“Our crews will continue to be out in full force statewide as long as necessary to help ensure a safe commute for motorists,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. “Due to high winds, blowing and drifting snow is a major concern. Motorists are encouraged to take it slow, give plow drivers plenty of room, buckle up and avoid distractions.”
The National Weather Service forecasts extremely cold temperatures the remainder of the day and into tonight. In the Northern part of the state, heavy snowfall is expected to result in snow covered roads and near white out conditions. Wind chills as low as 10 to 20 below zero are still possible the remainder of today and tonight. Wind chills 20 to 30 below zero are possible Wednesday night into Friday morning. Periodic chances for snow will continue this week into the weekend throughout the state. For those traveling, check www.gettingaroundillinois.com for the latest winter road conditions and road closures.
Safety tips to remember:
• Allow extra time for travel during the winter months.
• Don’t crowd the plow – a snow plow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see them, but they may not see you.
• Be aware that black ice can form on roads that appear clear and the unseen ice can be treacherous. Take it slow when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges and shady areas - all are prone to black ice, which is often invisible.
• Always keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to help prevent the vehicle’s fuel line from freezing.
• Do not travel during bad weather unless absolutely necessary - if you do have to make a trip, check the forecast and make sure someone is aware of your travel route and schedule.
• Always carry an emergency car care kit that contains jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, a small ice scraper, traction material, blankets, non-perishable food and a first aid kit.
• Carry a few extra blankets in your car, and perhaps an extra coat to ensure protection in case of a breakdown.
• Carry a cell phone and dial *999 for roadway assistance in case of emergency (but remember using handheld phones while driving is illegal if it is not an emergency situation).
• Always wear a seat belt, front seat or back – it’s the law.
• Check travel and road conditions routinely before any trip. You can get road condition information by calling 1-800-452-IDOT (4368), Illinois Tollway information by calling 1-800-TOLL-FYI or online at www.gettingaroundillinois.com and click on the “winter road conditions” icon.