Effingham – With the prediction of falling temperatures and snow beginning tonight into Thursday morning, Illinois State Police (ISP) District 12 is reminding motorists to take the necessary precautions before getting behind the wheel. Vehicle safety is equally important to driving safely while on the roadways.
“Winter weather brings additional challenges and responsibilities for drivers,” said District 12 Commander, Captain Cory Ristvedt. “We ask that drivers be well prepared: Allow extra time to reach your destination, ensure passengers in the vehicle are securely restrained, drive defensively, and confirm that your vehicle is properly maintained to handle the effects of cold temperatures,” added Captain Ristvedt.
Stranded motorists are encouraged to remain inside their vehicles 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 at the nearest police station.
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. Further, a new law that took effect on January 1, 2017 will require motorists to slow down and move over for any disabled motorist exhibiting hazard lights.
Other safety tips include:
Make sure someone is aware of your travel route.
Dress warmly – choose layers of clothing in anticipation of unexpected winter weather emergencies.
Keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to prevent the vehicle’s fuel line
from freezing. Plenty of fuel is also important if your vehicle becomes stranded.
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.
Have an emergency car care kit that contains jumper cables, a flashlight, a small ice scraper, blankets, gloves, food items, water, and a first aid kit.
Carry a cell phone AND charger.
Always wear a safety belt.
Motorists are urged to check travel conditions before any trip. You may get interstate condition information by calling 1-800-452-IDOT (4368) or on the Internet at www.gettingaroundillinois.com.
For additional winter travel information:
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Ice and Snow –Take it Slow