Metro-East News

Winterize your ride, and learn to drive in the snow and ice

Whenever driving in winter weather, slow down and watch for dangerous driving conditions.
Whenever driving in winter weather, slow down and watch for dangerous driving conditions. Belleville

A slight chance of snow has shown up in the metro-east forecast this week, and if you haven’t thought about winterizing your ride, now’s probably a good time.

The Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and Illinois Tollway teamed up this year to inform commuters on driving in winter weather. IDOT also shared a short video it uploaded last year on driving in the snow and ice.

IDOT recently shared the following list:

▪ 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 driving conditions.

▪ Drop it and drive. Put down the handheld devices – it, too, is the law in Illinois.

▪ 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.

▪ Avoid using cruise control in snow and ice.

▪ Watch out for black ice on roads that appear clear but can be treacherous.

▪ Be especially careful approaching intersections, ramps, bridges and shady areas. All of them 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. Consider taking public transportation if it is an option.

▪ Prepare 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 cell phone and a car charger in case of emergency.

▪ Follow the state’s Scott’s Law. Slow down and move over for stopped emergency, construction and maintenance vehicles.

Before leaving the house, drivers can also check road conditions at gettingaroundillinois.com.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol shared an infographic on its Facebook page Monday with similar advice.

“Traveling this winter, adjust your driving habits and have what you need to be safe during unpredictable weather,” the highway patrol said.

For those who commute to Missouri on a regular basis can check road conditions through the Missouri Department of Transportation website at traveler.modot.org/map.

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