Authorities highlight black ice problem spots ahead of freezing rain

CHAMPAIGN--The overnight forecast is expected to leave many Central Illinois roadways covered in black ice Tuesday morning, and authorities say this kind of weather could cause more crashes than any other storm this winter.

"I see more crashes happen with the freezing rain and smaller amounts of snow than with the larger amounts," said Illinois State Police Trooper Tracy Lillard.
With freezing rain in the forecast for early Tuesday, IDOT crews spent much of Monday prepping roads with brine. But engineers still warn drivers to brace themselves for black ice on the interstates, particularly in places where they might not expect it.  

"Regardless of how much we treat or how much we pre-plan, there are going to be areas that are slick in the morning," said IDOT District 5 Operations Engineer, David Speicher.

IDOT has crews on call to continue salting roadways through Tuesday if they freeze over. But even before the first drop hits the ground, engineers and state troopers agree on which parts of the highway will be especially hazardous.  

"Bridges are pretty much our most sensitive area when we're looking at freezing like we're looking at tonight," said Speicher.
"The ice and the frost is going to form on bridges, and exit ramps, and entrance ramps," said Lillard. "So any of those bridge deckings or ramps, that's where motorists need to use the most caution."

The leading cause of crashes in these cases is driving too fast for conditions. So Illinois State Police advise drivers to turn off the cruise control and slow down.

"We want to make sure that motorists allow enough time," said Lillard. "If you do start to lose control, if your car starts to skid, ease off of the gas, and don't slam on the brakes, and don't be changing lanes abruptly."

Because on black ice, one abrupt move can easily end with multiple injuries.

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