INDIANA – While temperatures may be mild, especially for early November, winter weather is on the horizon. The Indiana Department of Transportation urges Hoosiers to be prepared for when snow starts to fall.
Gov. Eric Holcomb proclaimed Nov. 6 – 12 Winter Weather Preparedness Week in Indiana. Along with the National Weather Service and other agencies, INDOT is encouraging the 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, the driver’s visibility may be limited.
- The safest place on the road during a winter storm is behind a snowplow, but 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.
- Keep a shovel in your car to dig out around your tires and your tailpipe if needed.
- Make sure your vehicle battery is strong, fluids are at the appropriate levels, and your spare tire is properly inflated.
According to the National Weather Service, there are over 66,000 variations of winter storms. Snow, ice, freezing rain, and fog all present challenges for winter travel. Roads can become slick, even after pre-treatment and regular treatment during and after a storm. It’s important to know the facts about INDOT’s winter operations.
Maintenance crews monitor forecasts several weeks out and prepare for a winter storm based on the type of precipitation, conditions leading up to an event, and extended forecast following the 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, so environmentally-friendly chemicals are used 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 is getting ready for winter operations by hiring seasonal snowplow drivers, completing training with current staff, inspecting and preparing equipment, and securing materials, like salt.
For information about road conditions during a winter storm, visit 511in.org to view INDOT’s Trafficwise map, or download the app on your Apple or Android device. Another way to stay connected is to follow INDOT on social media for regional information and additional resources.