Illinois State Police District 10 officials are reminding motorists to take precautions as they travel this weekend. District 10 covers Champaign, Coles, Douglas, Edgar, Macon, Moultrie, Piatt, Shelby and Vermilion Counties.
Illinois State Police Troopers are monitoring the incoming winter storm. As of 8:00 am today, the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch including rain and freezing rain, on and off, through Sunday at 12 pm. Ice accumulations on the roadways are possible and slick spots are likely, especially on untreated roadways, overpasses, bridges, and ramps.
Winter weather can have a devastating impact on driving conditions, especially when ice and snow are involved. Freezing rain and icy roads can result in hazardous road conditions for drivers of all ages. Illinois State Police officials urge motorists to drive with caution, increase following distances, and to allow extra travel time to get to their final destinations.
Stranded motorists are encouraged to remain inside their vehicles with their seat belt on and wait for first responders to arrive. Motorists involved in accidents that do not require emergency assistance may file a crash report within 10 days by reporting it with the law enforcement agency within those jurisdictional boundaries.
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 and vehicles on the shoulder of the roadway with hazard lights activated.
Here 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.
- 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 seat 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