State Police urge drivers to plan now for winter weather - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Illinois State Police urge drivers to plan now for winter weather

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UNDATED (WREX) -

The holidays are just around the corner, and so is the ice and snow, which can make driving in northern Illinois difficult.

The Illinois State Police are urging drivers to take precautions to stay safe during the winter season when freezing rain, icy roads, and white-out conditions can be deadly.

"Every year, motorists face weather conditions that can have a devastating impact on driving conditions and passenger safety. Whether it's a semi-truck or a motor vehicle, motorists should drive with extra caution to ensure that accidents are avoided and roads are safe," Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau said. "Reducing your speed, allowing for extra travel time, increasing distances between vehicles, and avoiding unnecessary lane changes are just a few simple precautions drivers can take to make commutes safer."

Police also encourage drivers who are involved in accidents without injuries to simply exchange insurance and driver information with each other and then file crash reports at the nearest state police headquarters within ten days. This helps to keep roads clear and drivers safe.

Other tips to keep in mind before hitting the road include:

  • Plan ahead and check the weather forecast
    • If weather is bad, decide if the trip is absolutely necessary
  • "Don't crowd the plow"
  • Watch out for black ice
    • Roads that look clear might be dangerous so be cautious and go slow while approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges, and shady areas, all of which are prone to black ice
  • Keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to prevent the fuel line from freezing
  • Dress in layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in case of winter weather emergencies
  • Always make sure someone else is aware of your travel route
  • Carry an emergency car care kit that includes jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, a small ice scraper, traction material, blankets, non-perishable food, and a first aid kit
  • Always have a cell phone that is fully charged
  • Always wear your seat belt.

Interstate road conditions can be found by calling the Illinois Department of Transportation at 1-800-452-4368 or by visiting www.gettingaroundillinois.com.

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