Preparation is Key: ‘Winter
Weather – Get it Together’
IDOT, ISP, Tollway urge motorists to
prepare for winter driving conditions
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[November 30, 2017]
As bitter cold creeps into Illinois, the state’s
frontline weather responders remind motorists that preparation can
help take the bite out of winter this season. The Illinois
Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and the Illinois
Tollway encourage motorists to prepare for wintry driving conditions
and remember: “Winter Weather – Get it Together.”
“Winter weather can be unpredictable in Illinois, but preparation
today will make a safer tomorrow,” said Illinois Transportation
Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “Drivers should start easing into those
winter driving behaviors now. Our snow-and-ice teams are ready, as
always, to make this a safe, successful winter driving season.”
Throughout the winter, especially during adverse conditions,
motorists should practice basic winter driving skills and build
extra time into their schedules. As part of the “Winter Weather –
Get it Together” campaign, all travelers are encouraged to follow
these simple rules and tips during the coming months:
Always wear a seat belt. It’s the law in Illinois.
down. Slower speeds, slower acceleration, slower steering and
slower braking all are required in winter driving conditions.
it and drive. Put down the handheld devices – it, too, is the
law in Illinois.
Don’t crowd the plow. A snowplow operator’s field of vision is
restricted. You may see them, but they may not see you.
Avoid using cruise control in snow and ice.
Watch out for black ice on roads that appear clear but can be
especially careful approaching intersections, ramps, bridges and
shady areas. All are prone to icing.
not travel during bad weather unless absolutely necessary. If
you do have to make a trip, check the forecast and make sure
someone is aware of your travel route. Consider taking public
transportation if it is an option.
Prepare an emergency kit that contains jumper cables, flares or
reflectors, windshield washer fluid, a small ice scraper,
traction material, blankets, non-perishable
food and a first-aid kit.
Carry a cell phone and a car charger in case of emergency.
Follow Scott’s Law. Slow down and move over for stopped
emergency, construction and maintenance vehicles.
a list of suggested maintenance for your car, visit the National
Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s
more winter driving tips, check out this short
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"Winter weather causes extremely dangerous driving with black ice
and white out conditions," said ISP Director Leo P. Schmitz. "Plan ahead by
checking your windshield wipers, vehicle fluid levels, proper tire inflation and
tread depth. Remember to avoid unnecessary lane changes and as always, reduce
your speed and increase following distances. Don't crowd the plow. Give them
room to work. A snowplow operator's field of vision is restricted. You may see
them, but they may not see you."
Before leaving the house, drivers are encouraged to check
GettingAroundIllinois.com for continually updated information on winter road
conditions, weather radars, road and bridge closures and other traffic-related
information. The site was recently redesigned in a mobile-friendly format
providing a more convenient way to access important information quickly. The
winter road conditions map gives travelers the ability to zoom in to their
location, travel route or destination and get real-time road conditions. At any
time, motorists can check travel conditions by calling 1-800-452-IDOT (4368) or
“Winter weather can make driving challenging for our customers, so our
priorities are to keep the roads clear and provide roadway information to help
drivers safely reach their destinations,” said Illinois Tollway Executive
Director Greg Bedalov. “In return, we ask our customers to protect themselves
and our workers by slowing down and increasing their distance from other
vehicles, particularly during storms and severe weather.”
For the upcoming winter, IDOT will have more than 1,700 trucks available for
deployment to plow almost 16,000 miles of roads statewide, the equivalent of
driving from Springfield to the tip of South America and back. Last year, IDOT
spread almost 305,000 tons of salt statewide. This winter, salt domes throughout
the state are at capacity, with more than 550,000 tons on hand. Four hundred
brand-new snow plows are ready to be deployed throughout the state. The new
trucks are more energy efficient and will reduce air pollution.
The Illinois Tollway is prepared to deploy its fleet of 196 snowplows for winter
storms and has stockpiled more than 87,000 tons of salt to keep its 294-mile
system of five tollways clear and safe for its 1.6 million daily drivers.
[Illinois Department of