Sidebar Menu

winter driving1 113020CHAMPAIGN – As snow-and-ice season nears, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) joins the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois State Police in reminding drivers to take steps to prepare themselves to navigate the winter driving season safely.

“Winter weather can be unpredictable, so it’s important to check current road conditions before heading out,” Bennett said. “If you don’t need to be on the roads, consider canceling your travel plans. If you can’t avoid driving, plan ahead and make sure you have an emergency kit in your vehicle.”

Drivers should be mindful of winter driving skills and build extra time into their schedules in the months ahead. As part of the “Winter Weather – Get it Together” campaign, travelers are encouraged to follow these simple guidelines: 

  • Bookmark GettingAroundIllinois.com to check travel conditions 24/7.
  • Wear a seat belt. It’s the law in Illinois and your best defense if you are involved in a crash.
  • Drop it and drive. Put down the devices – it, too, is the law. 
  • Do not travel during bad weather unless absolutely necessary. If you must drive, check the weather forecast and make sure someone is aware of your route. Familiarize yourself with public transportation options.
  • Slow down. Slower speeds, slower acceleration, slower steering and slower braking are required throughout the winter.
  • Don’t crowd the plow. A snowplow operator’s field of vision is restricted. Even if you see them, they may not see you. Any plow that’s hit must be pulled out of service, resulting in one less resource available to clear the roads. 
  • Watch out for black ice. A road may appear clear but can be treacherous.
  • Be especially careful when approaching intersections, ramps, bridges and shaded areas. All are prone to icing.
  • Prepare an emergency 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 cell phone and a car charger in case of emergency. For emergency assistance in the Chicago area, call *999.
  • Give first responders and stranded drivers plenty of space. Obey the Move Over Law by slowing down and changing lanes when approaching any stopped vehicle with flashing lights.
  • For more winter driving tips, check out this short IDOT video

For more information on preparing for winter weather, visit IDOT.Illinois.gov.