ISP warns winter drivers


Jake Thompson

Snow falls in Macomb for the first time of the winter season on Sunday.

Nicholas Ebelhack

 Now that the first snow of the winter season has fallen, the Illinois State Police (ISP) reminds drivers to take caution when traversing hazardous conditions.

 In a press release from ISP, drivers are warned to look out for road conditions that could change quickly, and to especially avoid speeding in winter weather.

 “Many times a section of road will appear to have been cleared and drivers will begin to increase their speed, only to have the road become snow covered and icy again,” the press release reads. “This type of behavior can lead to a crash, or at the very least, your vehicle becoming disabled in a median
or ditch.”

 In the case that a vehicle is incapacitated, ISP says that it is best to stay within the vehicle until help can arrive unless leaving the vehicle is absolutely necessary.

 “With the some of the extreme cold temperatures Illinois experiences during our winter months, a person can risk great bodily harm or death if they are caught outside without the proper cold weather protection,” reads the press release. “If you must leave your vehicle, place a note with your name and a contact number where you can be reached, on the front driver’s seat. This will aid the police in locating you at a later time for removal of the vehicle.”   

 According to the press release, it is important to keep extra warm clothing and blankets in the car, as well as keeping a cell phone with charger at all times in order to make contact with emergency services.

 ISP also warns drivers to take caution when driving over bridges, as they tend to freeze quicker than other parts of the road. They also advise that it is important for drivers to make sure they give themselves enough time to get to their destination so that they arrive without making haste.

 “You should plan ahead by checking weather forecasts as well as road conditions for the areas you are traveling through,” reads the press release.

 Finally, ISP tells drivers to make way for emergency crews making their way through the snow so that they can help others who are possibly in trouble.

 “Drivers should slow down and move over when approaching these scenes.  Not only is it the safe and responsible thing to do, it is also the law.”