LITCHFIELD – With the prediction of winter weather tonight into Wednesday morning, Illinois State Police (ISP) District 18 is warning motorists to take the necessary precautions before getting behind the wheel. Vehicle safety is equally important to driving safely while on the roadways.

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Winter weather can have a devastating impact on driving conditions, especially when ice and snow are involved. Freezing rain, icy roads, and white-out snow events can result in hazardous road conditions for drivers of all ages. Illinois State Police officials urge motorists to drive with caution, and to allow extra travel time to get to their final destinations.

Motorists should slow down, reduce the amount of distractions in the vehicle while driving, leave early and expect longer travel times, increase following distances between vehicles, and avoid unnecessary or abrupt lane changes to help ensure your safety as well as other motorist on the roadways. Motorists are also urged to be aware of black ice in cleared areas, as they begin their morning commute.

Stranded motorists are encouraged to remain inside their vehicles and wait for first responders to arrive.

Illinois State Police also want to remind motorists to yield to emergency and snow removal equipment. Scott’s Law (Move Over Law) requires drivers to reduce speed, change lanes if possible, and proceed with due caution when approaching emergency vehicles.

Listed below are a few safety tips drivers should keep in mind during winter weather:

 Plan ahead and check the forecast - Determine if the trip is necessary during inclement weather.

 Don’t Crowd the Plow! – remember, a snowplow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see them, but they may not see you.

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 Watch out for black ice – roads that appear clear may be treacherous. Take it slow when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges, and shady areas – all are prone to black ice.

 Always keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to prevent the vehicle’s fuel line from freezing.

 Dress warmly for the weather—dress in layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in anticipation of unexpected winter weather emergencies.

 Make sure someone is aware of your travel route.

 Always carry an emergency car care 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.

 Always carry a charged cell phone.

 Always wear a safety belt.  

 

Motorists can check on interstate road conditions by contacting IDOT at 1-800-452-IDOT (4368) or on the Internet at: www.gettingaroundillinois.com.

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