CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced Tuesday that snowfall expected in the Northern part of the state later tonight and into Wednesday morning could impact travel routes. The forecasted weather system is expected to bring several inches of heavy snow, gusting winds and the potential of blizzard conditions. Blowing and drifting snow associated with the storm could lead to treacherous weather and driving conditions in areas throughout the state. Roads and bridges could be snow and ice covered, creating slick and dangerous travel conditions for Illinois motorists.
“The possibility of several inches of snow means motorists should prepare and plan ahead if they plan to be on the roads,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. “If driving conditions are hazardous, we encourage motorists to avoid travel until conditions improve.”
IDOT has approximately 1,750 trucks and more than 3,700 employees assigned to impacted areas to remove snow and ice from state routes to help ensure the safety of the motoring public. Due to current weather conditions, IDOT encourages motorists who must travel to check the latest winter road conditions and road closures at www.gettingaroundillinois.com.
Drivers are reminded to exercise caution when snow and ice affect roadways, and IDOT advises travel only when absolutely necessary during winter storms or when temperatures are extremely low.
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.