The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced today that roads and bridges are snow and ice covered throughout Illinois, creating slick and dangerous driving conditions for motorists. The National Weather Service has forecasted snow accumulations up to 7 inches in some areas throughout Illinois, with the heaviest snowfall expected this afternoon. Temperatures are forecasted in the mid-20’s and winds expected up to 25 mph.
IDOT has more than 1,100 trucks and more than 1,400 employees assigned to impacted areas to remove snow and ice from state routes to help ensure the safety of the motoring public. Due to current weather conditions, IDOT encourages motorists who must travel to check the latest winter road conditions and road closures at www.gettingaroundillinois.
“Illinois roads and bridges are extremely slick and dangerous and it is advised that motorists avoid travel in impacted areas to ensure safety. Fewer motorists on the roads also gives IDOT crews an opportunity to clear roads and bridges in a more efficient manner,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. “In addition to the snow and ice, the wind has picked up in some areas causing blowing and drifting snow, making it difficult for motorists to see when driving.”
Drivers are reminded to exercise caution when snow and ice affect roadways, and IDOT advises travel only when absolutely necessary during winter storms or when temperatures are extremely low. During the severely cold weather expected, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security advises that Illinois residents limit exposure to cold temperatures, dress in layers, check in on others who may need additional assistance, keep vehicles in good repair, and bring pets indoors.
For a list of warming centers in Illinois, visit
Safety tips to remember:
· Allow extra time for travel during the winter months.
· Don’t crowd the plow – a snow plow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see them, but they may not see you.
· Be aware that black ice can form on roads that appear clear and the unseen ice can be treacherous. Take it slow when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges and shady areas – all are prone to black ice, which is often invisible.
· Always keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to help prevent the vehicle’s fuel line from freezing.
· 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 and schedule.
· 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.
· Carry a few extra blankets in your car, and perhaps an extra coat to ensure protection in case of a breakdown.
· Carry a cell phone and dial *999 for roadway assistance in case of emergency (but remember using handheld phones while driving is illegal if it is not an emergency situation).
· Always wear a seat belt, front seat or back – it’s the law.
· Check travel and road conditions routinely before any trip. You can get road condition information by calling 1-800-452-IDOT (4368), Illinois Tollway information by calling 1-800-TOLL-FYI or online at www.gettingaroundillinois.
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