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Get Prepared for Winter Driving

Mircea Ploscar
Drive safe this winter.

The Illinois Department of Transportation is reminding drivers that winter is coming. The "Winter Weather - Get It Together" campaign is reminding the public to be careful when traveling during the season.

The department released a list of recommendations:

  • Always wear a seat belt. It’s the law in Illinois. 
  • Slow down. Slower speeds, slower acceleration, slower steering and slower braking all are required in winter conditions.
  • Drop 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. Any plow that’s hit must be pulled out of service, resulting in one less piece of equipment responding to snow and ice. 
  • Avoid using cruise control when conditions are slick.
  • Watch out for black ice. A road surface may appear clear but can be treacherous.
  • Be especially careful approaching intersections, ramps, bridges and shady areas. All are prone to icing.
  • Do 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. Acquaint yourself with local public transportation options. 
  • 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. 
  • Give them distance. Obey the Move Over Law by slowing down and changing lanes when approaching ANY stopped vehicle with flashing lights.
  • For a list of suggested maintenance for your car, visit the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s winter driving website.

"Illinois winters are unpredictable. Weather and road conditions need to be on the minds of all travelers these next few months," said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman.

For more information, there is a short  IDOT video.