Winter Weather Preparedness Week: Winter Driving Safety Tips

By: 23 Storm Team/National Weather Service, Chicago/Romeoville
By: 23 Storm Team/National Weather Service, Chicago/Romeoville

It's inevitable that on at least one occasion, we'll be forced to venture out during a snowstorm, whether it's to drive to work, or for travel out of town. So, when that time comes, the National Weather Service, along with the Illinois Department of Transportation offer the following tips.

"If you have to travel out of town during a winter storm, be sure to tell your family or friends where you are going, the roads you will be taking, and your time of arrival. Make sure your gas tank is full. Carry a windshield scraper, jumper cables, a shovel, flashlight, a blanket or additional warm clothing and candy bars or other high energy snack foods.

Don't panic if you become stranded on the road during a winter storm. Stay in your vehicle. Don't try to walk to safety. If you have a cell phone, use it to let someone know you are stranded. Attach a cloth to your car's antenna or window to indicate you need help and turn on the dome light and flashers to make your car more noticeable.

If you have to drive during a winter storm, you will probably see state snow plows on the highway. If the plow is coming toward you, allow plenty of room for it to pass. If you approach a snowplow from the rear, pass with care and only when you can see the road ahead of the plow. If you can't see because of blowing snow, don't pass.

This winter when it's stormy, play it safe. Check out road conditions on the interstate and freeway system before your drive out of town. Call the Illinois Department of Transportation's toll free number, 1-800-452-IDOT for current conditions or visit www.dot.state.il.us. Drive safely this winter."


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