CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced today that snow and high winds are causing roads to be slick in many areas of Illinois today, with conditions expected to deteriorate elsewhere as a winter storm moves across the state. Motorists can expect longer travel times and should consider if their trip is necessary before leaving.
“Our crews are out and will continue to work to clear the roads wherever needed throughout this storm,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “If you have to travel today, give them plenty of room to do their jobs. Don’t crowd the plow.”
The National Weather Service is forecasting up to nine inches of snow in the eastern part of the state, with high winds creating blizzard conditions. A wintry mix is possible in the southern part of the state. In the Chicago area this morning, crews are pretreating bridges, overpasses, and ramps in anticipation of snowy and windy conditions during the afternoon commute.
Heavy snowfall at times, combined with strong winds, have created hazardous driving conditions in some areas of the state and will do so in other areas as the day progresses. Traffic crashes and downed power lines have been reported in several locations this morning. Blowing and drifting snow also will be a concern as the snow accumulates. Statewide, IDOT has more than 1,700 trucks available to keep 16,500 miles of road clear of snow and ice.
“Speed is a contributing factor for accidents when road conditions are wet and slick with snow. Motorists should reduce speeds and allow for extra travel time,” said Illinois State Police Col. Tad Williams. “The Illinois State Police also want to remind motorists to yield to emergency and snow removal equipment. The Move Over Law, also known as Scott’s Law, requires drivers to reduce speed, change lanes if possible and proceed with due caution.”
Monitor your local forecast before heading out and consider adjusting travel plans in areas that are impacted. If you have to travel during winter weather:
• Keep a cell phone, warm clothes, blankets, food, water, a first aid kit, washer fluid, and an ice scraper in your vehicle.
• Make sure your gas tank is full.
• Leave extra braking distance.
Statewide road conditions are updated throughout the day at www.gettingaroundillinois.com. Travel information is also shared via Facebook and Twitter. Visit IDOT’s YouTube channel here for a rundown of safe driving tips.