Navigating snowy, icy roads this winter
ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - When the weather outside gets frightful, Illinois officials advise people to take extra care on the roads so the drive can be delightful.
‘Winter Weather - Get it Together’ is a collaboration between the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois Tollway and state police. The goal is to urge drivers to pay attention to the roads and avoid any hazards along the way.
Wintry weather may look pretty at times, but danger lurks around every corner and under every layer of snow. It also means thousands of plows will salt and clear the roads. The first piece of advice from experts? Don’t crowd the plow. Stay behind the plows and leave enough space for trucks to salt and clear the roads.
“As much as you guys want to get to where you guys got to go. So do we. We want to get back to our families, so keep us safe,” says snowplow driver Daniel Corral.
Drew McKissack with the Illinois Tollway says we do a lot of traveling through the winter but that isn’t a reason for drivers to speed especially with the higher risk of icy roads.
“If it wasn’t for the men and women that operate these trucks. We would be in a lot of trouble,” says McKissack. “If you see a responding vehicle on the shoulder or any vehicle that matters, please, we can’t stress enough: slow down.”
Even if some roads look clear, Illinois State Police say that doesn’t mean they are.
“When that weather changes, increase your following distance, and that’s going to take care of or help take care of a lot of potential issues for you,” says Master Sgt. Brent Massingill.
Master Sgt. Massingill says to take the time to remove snow and ice from your vehicle and focus on the road.
“You may be the safest driver in the world. But the person next to you they’re not maybe have your seatbelt on and be prepared.”
IDOT snowplows salted and cleared more than 17,000 miles statewide last winter, equal to traveling to and from New York City to Los Angeles three times.
Drivers should only travel in bitterly cold temperatures if it’s necessary. If that’s the case, let someone know your route.
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