ISP issues tips for safe driving during winter


EFFINGHAM - With the hazardous winter weather predicted, the Illinois State Police wants to ensure motorists are prepared for inclement weather and adverse driving conditions.  It is recommended that the public stay home unless absolutely necessary.  If you must travel, we want to remind drivers to allow sufficient time to reach your destination safely.  The weather can change quickly and create hazardous driving conditions, but there are various steps you can take to make winter driving a safer experience.  Regular vehicle maintenance, appropriate tire pressure, the use of seatbelts, and emergency car care kits are a great start. 

The ISP offers the following tips for a safe winter driving season:


Reduce Your Speed

  • Snow, ice and wet roadways can make for hazardous driving conditions and can reduce your visibility. Driving too fast for conditions is the leading cause of traffic crashes during the winter season, so we urge the motoring public to slow down.
  • Slow down when approaching intersections, off-ramps, curves and bridges. These areas can develop black ice - a thin coating of clear ice that can form on the pavement and may be difficult to see.  This includes shaded areas where ice and snow are the last to melt.
  • Avoid abrupt steering, braking or accelerating to lessen the chances of losing control of your vehicle.





Don't follow too closely or tailgate

  • Winter road conditions often require longer stopping distances. Allow sufficient space between vehicles to give yourself enough room to stop.

Don't make sudden lane changes

  • Stay in your lane. Sudden lane changes can cause your vehicle to lose traction, and cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • Always use your turn signal. Be courteous and let other drivers know that you are preparing to change lanes.
  • Don't take chances when pulling out in front of approaching vehicles, they may not be able to slow down, and you may not be able to accelerate as quickly as you would on dry pavement. Remember snow and ice makes it more difficult to maneuver your vehicle.


Always wear your safety belt

  • Safety belt use is known to save lives, so remind everyone in your vehicle to "Buckle-Up", and make sure children under the age of 8 are securely fastened in a child safety seat.


Move over and slow down for emergency vehicles

  • The "Move Over Law" (also known as "Scotts Law") was enacted to protect the men and women who provide an invaluable service to public.  Troopers will be enforcing this law throughout the winter season to increase the chances of everyone getting home safely.  When you see an emergency vehicle or snow plow, remember to:


  • Reduce your speed


  • Change lanes, if possible


  • Proceed with caution


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