Joyce urges drivers to use caution during winter weather

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PARK FOREST – With winter weather approaching, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) echoes the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois State Police and the Illinois Tollway in reminding drivers to prepare for winter driving conditions.

“As we head into the winter, I am asking drivers to start thinking about safe winter driving,” Joyce said. “The preparations and plans you make today can keep you and other drivers safe in the months ahead.”

Drivers should be mindful of winter driving skills and build extra time into their schedules during the winter months. As part of the “Winter Weather – Get it Together” campaign, travelers are encouraged to follow these simple guidelines: 

  • Bookmark GettingAroundIllinois.com to check travel conditions 24/7.
  • Wear a seat belt. It’s the law in Illinois and your best defense if you are involved in a crash.
  • Drop it and drive. Put down the devices – it, too, is the law. 
  • Do not travel during bad weather unless absolutely necessary. If you must drive, check the weather forecast and make sure someone is aware of your route. Familiarize yourself with public transportation options.
  • Slow down. Slower speeds, slower acceleration, slower steering and slower braking are required throughout the winter.
  • Don’t crowd the plow. A snowplow operator’s field of vision is restricted. Even if you see them, they may not see you. Any plow that’s hit must be pulled out of service, resulting in one less resource available to clear the roads. 
  • Watch out for black ice. A road may appear clear but can be treacherous.
  • Be especially careful when approaching intersections, ramps, bridges and shaded areas. All are prone to icing.
  • Prepare an emergency 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. For emergency assistance in the Chicago area, call *999.
  • Give first responders and stranded drivers plenty of space. Obey the Move Over Law by slowing down and changing lanes when approaching any stopped vehicle with flashing lights.
  • For more winter driving tips, check out this short IDOT video

For more information on preparing for winter weather, visit IDOT.Illinois.gov.

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