1. Before winter starts, have your vehicle checked to ensure that it is ready for the winter months. Many area auto repair businesses offer winter care preparation services.
2. Store some survival supplies in your vehicle such as extra warm clothing, blankets, food and water in case you are stranded.
3. Pay attention to weather conditions. Listen to local radio for weather and traffic conditions. In Grundy County, listen to WJDK – 95.7 FM or WCSJ – 103.1 FM for updates.
4. If severe weather is forecasted for a specific time, adjust your travel plans so you can arrive safely before the severe weather hits.
5. During a severe weather event please do not go out unless you must. If you can, wait until the storm has subsided and the salt trucks have cleared the roads.
6. In extreme weather conditions the roads may be closed. If the roads are closed, do not attempt to travel except if it is an absolute emergency.
7. If you are caught in severe weather while driving, relax and expect your travel time to increase. It is better to be late than not to arrive at all.
8. SLOW DOWN! Give yourself extra braking distance. Speed is a major contributing factor in most weather related accidents. If you drive a 4 wheel drive vehicle, remember there is little or no difference with steering or braking from a 2 wheel drive vehicle.
9. Don’t use cruise control and be light on the accelerator and brake (if you can). Most people who lose control of their vehicle do so while using them.
10. Turn on your lights. Falling and blowing snow and ice will decrease visibility and you want to be seen by other drivers.
11. Be alert for localized areas of low visibility and black ice. Black ice occurs most often during snow/ice events and from blowing/drifting snow but can form any time the temperature is near or below freezing. Remember it’s practically impossible to see the difference between wet pavement and pavement with black ice on it.
12. Should blowing snow and drifting be occurring, avoid driving through snow drifts, especially with small cars. As little as 4 or 5 inches can trap a vehicle.
13. Stick to the main roads whenever possible. They are plowed first and more often. Minor roads are usually left to be plowed after the main roads have been cleared.
14. Give the snow plows plenty of space. The truck drivers cannot see you as easily you can see them, especially if you are driving behind them. Snow plow drivers not only have to watch the road, they also have to operate the snow clearing and salting equipment at the same time. In bad weather conditions and/or heavy traffic, this makes their job quite difficult. So please give them a break.
15. Think twice before passing a snow plow. The road conditions are usually better behind them since they are clearing the road ahead of them.
16. If you become stranded, stay with your vehicle. You are safer in your vehicle than out in the storm. Call for help or wait for another driver to assist you.
Did you Know? During a significant snow event, the county snow plows often make 3 passes on each county road (in both directions). That distance is equal to you driving from Grundy County to New York City! And that does not include travel to and from the county salt building out to the roads to be plowed.