Troopers Patrol for Stranded Drivers; Caring for Cars in Cold Temperatures

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) – The freezing temperatures can seriously damage our vehicles if we’re not taking care of them. Experts say we should keep at least a quarter of a tank of gas in our vehicles, otherwise it could freeze.

We should also be checking our battery charge and tire pressure. Most service centers will check those for free. We should also be keeping an eye on our coolant levels.

Not only is it to help cool your vehicle, but in this cold weather, it’s also used to heat the vehicle as well. If you don’t have the proper level of protection in there and let’s say that the temperature’s high in it, then the coolant could actually freeze. If it freezes, then your vehicle’s not going to be cooling ro doing the proper function of what it’s designed to do at all.

For some reassurance that our cars will start tomorrow, experts say to go outside every couple hours and run our cars for about 10 to 20 minutes.

Even if their cars are starting, many drivers aren’t making it to their destinations. The cold weather is causing slick roads and tire blow outs.

The roads really don’t look too bad, but there are still some icy patches. State troopers say that could put our lives in danger. The concern isn’t being stuck in a ditch, but being stuck in a ditch in sub-zero temperatures for more than just a few minutes.

Today, troopers from District 16 were out patrolling our roads, mainly the bypass to bring immediate help to any stranded drivers. Troopers say most of the problems were with semis and diesel trucks breaking down.

There were also some slide offs and drivers with flat or blown out tires. It’s those situations where officers say we need to be prepared for the worst.

“Make sure you have your cell phone charged up, a charging cord for that, you have blankets in the car and you’re dressed warmly. I’ve seen people in tennis shoes with no hat and no gloves out in these temperatures and it’s just unsafe,” said Master Sgt. Carl Heintz with the Illinois State Police Dist. 16.

Troopers stress if we do get stranded, on the side of the road, we need to stay I our cars so troopers can easily find us.

Troopers will be working extra hours over the next few days to make sure we’re safe. To make sure they stay safe, dispatchers at District 16 headquarters are checking in with the troopers every hour to make sure they’re not getting to cold or getting stranded.

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