Much of Indiana experienced an arctic blast last week, and some saw measurable snow. Although temperatures are leveling out for early November, the Indiana Department of Transportation urges Hoosiers to be prepared as winter approaches.
Gov. Eric Holcomb proclaimed Nov. 5 – 11 Winter Weather Preparedness Week in Indiana. Along with the National Weather Service and other agencies, INDOT is encouraging the traveling public to use this week as a reminder to take steps to prepare for potential hazards that come with winter weather.
For safe travel, INDOT offers the following tips:
|Slow down and adjust travel to conditions, especially on snow-covered roads.Never tailgate or drive beside a snowplow, as the driver’s visibility may be limited. If you must pass, do so carefully. Be prepared in case of a crash and becoming stranded; always carry an emergency kit in your vehicle with food, water, a phone charger, sand or cat litter, flares or bright LED alternatives, a flashlight, and blankets.Keep your vehicle full of gas and check your battery, fluids, and spare tire.|
Throughout winter, snow, ice, freezing rain, and fog all present travel challenges. Roads can become slick, even after pre-treatment and regular treatment during and after a storm.
Winter Operations crews monitor forecasts for several weeks out and prepare for winter storms based on the type of precipitation, conditions leading up to an event, and extended forecast following a storm. If conditions allow, roads are pre-treated with salt brine and are regularly treated with rock salt. In colder temperatures, salt and brine alone take longer to activate. Environmentally friendly chemicals may be used if necessary to boost effectiveness.
Snowplow drivers typically work 12-hour shifts during a storm and on average, take two-to-three hours to complete a full route. INDOT has prepared for winter operations by hiring seasonal snowplow drivers, completing training with current staff, inspecting equipment, and securing materials, like salt.