Subzero temperatures and snow is predicted for this week in the Chicago area and across the state. Motorists are reminded to be cautious when driving in snow or when roads are icy.
Safety experts at the Illinois Dept. of Transportation (IDOT) say that when it comes to driving in wintery conditions, the first question motorists should ask themselves should be: “Is this trip absolutely essential?” Often travel can be delayed until the wintery conditions abate, or roads have been cleared by snow plows.
If travel is necessary, motorists are encouraged to check road conditions along their planned route so they know what to expect. Road condition reports for Illinois’ interstates and freeways are updated every two hours and made available to the public at 1-800-452-IDOT, at the Dept. of Transportation’s “Getting Around Illinois" webpage, and at Interstate rest stops.
Motorists are encouraged to inform someone that they will be traveling, and to make plans to “check in” once they arrive at their final destination. Be sure to fill the gas tank before leaving, and frequently re-fill the tank while traveling.
Once on the road, IDOT officials stress the importance of buckling seatbelts, keeping windows clear of snow and ice, and adjusting speed for the weather conditions and to match the flow of traffic.
If the pavement is snow or ice covered, start slowly and brake gently; begin braking early when approaching an intersection. If the vehicle starts to slide on ice or snow, ease off the gas pedal or brakes. Steer into the direction of the skid until traction has been regained, then straighten the vehicle.