The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

January 8, 2014

Use care out on the roads

Staff Report
The Commercial-News

---- — Safety tips from the Illinois Department of Transportation:

Allow extra time for travel during the winter months.

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 freezing.

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 breakdown.

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 situation.

Always wear a seat belt, front seat or back — it’s the law.

Illinois residents can check road conditions at http://wrc.gettingaroundillinois.com.

Check travel and road conditions routinely before any trip. You can get road condition information by calling 1-800-452-IDOT (4368) or online at http://www.gettingaroundillinois.com and click on the “winter road conditions” icon.

West central Indiana drivers can monitor road conditions and traffic alerts across Indiana at any time, by visiting http://www.TrafficWise.IN.gov or call toll-free 800-261-ROAD (7623) for INDOT’s TrafficWise Traveler Information Service. For social media updates, follow INDOT on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/INDOT_WCentral or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/INDOTWestCentral.

To see an updated map of Indiana county travel advisories provided by each county’s emergency management agency, go to http://www.in.gov/dhs/traveladvisory.