Motorists Urged to Slow Down; Roads Remain Snow Packed and Icy Statewide
Motorists Driving Too Fast for Dangerous Conditions
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of
Transportation (IDOT) reminded motorists today to slow down when
traveling during the severe weather conditions. Road conditions
are improving in some areas, but the majority of roads
throughout the state are still snow and ice covered. Blowing and
drifting snow remains a problem, and the extreme low
temperatures reduce the effectiveness of the salt being spread
by IDOT winter weather crews. Motorists are still encouraged to
stay home and avoid travel until roads are clear and safe.
“Motorists need to heed to our advice and slow
down on Illinois roadways,” said Illinois Transportation
Secretary Ann L. Schneider. “The roads are snow packed,
extremely slick and dangerous. If motorists have to travel
today, please take it slow, buckle up, avoid distractions and
allow plenty of extra time. We want everyone to make it to their
IDOT winter weather crews will continue to be on
the job as necessary to plow and salt to help ensure roads are
clear and passable. For those who have to travel, check
www.gettingaroundillinois.com for the latest road closures and
road conditions. Most roads have re-opened, but there are still
some road closures throughout the state due to snow and ice. The
severe weather has also encouraged Amtrak to cancel a number of
state supported trains. To find out if your train was cancelled,
visit www.Amtrak.com or call 1-800-USA-RAIL.
The National Weather Service forecasts
dangerously cold temperatures with strong winds to continue to
cause extensive blowing and drifting snow throughout the day.
Historic cold temperatures are expected throughout Illinois for
the next several days with temperatures ranging from 5 to 16
below zero, wind chills ranging from 25 to 35 degrees below zero
and winds of 20 to 30 mph through Tuesday.
Currently, IDOT has 1,755 trucks assigned to
snow duty across the state, and nearly 3,700 full- and part-time
employees available to help ensure roads are clear and passable.
IDOT will continue to monitor the weather and plan accordingly.
Drivers are reminded to exercise caution when
snow and ice affect roadways, and IDOT advises travel only when
absolutely necessary during winter storms or when temperatures
are extremely low. During the severely cold weather expected,
the U.S. Department of Homeland Security advises that Illinois
residents limit exposure to cold temperatures, dress in layers,
check in on others who may need additional assistance, keep
vehicles in good repair, and bring pets indoors. For a list of
warming centers in Illinois, visit
Other safety tips to remember:
Allow extra time for travel during the
Don’t crowd the plow – a snow plow
operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see them,
but they may not see you.
Be aware that black ice can form on roads
that appear clear and the unseen ice can be treacherous.
Take it slow when approaching intersections, off-ramps,
bridges and shady areas - all are prone to black ice, which
is often invisible.
Always keep your gas tank at least
two-thirds full to help prevent the vehicle’s fuel line from
Do not travel during bad weather unless
absolutely necessary - if you do have to make a trip, check
the forecast and make sure someone is aware of your travel
route and schedule.
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.
Carry a few extra blankets in your car, and
perhaps an extra coat to ensure protection in case of a
Carry a cell phone and dial *999 for roadway
assistance in case of emergency (but remember using handheld
phones while driving is illegal if it is not an emergency
Always wear a seat belt, front seat or back
– it’s the law.
Check travel and road conditions routinely
before any trip. You can get road condition information by
calling 1-800-452-IDOT (4368), Illinois Tollway information
by calling 1-800-TOLL-FYI or online at
www.gettingaroundillinois.com and click on the “winter
road conditions” icon.