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Indiana Department of Transportation warns drivers about winter weather

INDIANA (WOWO): While the Indiana Department of Transportation prepares the roads for winter weather, INDOT also wants drivers to be prepared mentally. 


“It’s time to retrain our brains and think winter weather driving skills,” said Nichole Hacha-Thomas with INDOT. “And, the first thing we tell drivers is to slow down. The most important thing that they can do to stay safe this winter is to slow down.”

INDOT is warning residents that even with salt and snow plows, travel will be difficult when winter weather hits. 

“If you see white-out conditions ahead, immediately take your foot off the gas and turn off cruise control, especially on high-speed highways,” according to INDOT. “No one should be traveling at interstate speeds in these conditions. Law enforcement will be writing citations for drivers going faster than conditions merit and putting others in harm’s way.”

INDOT is also telling people to clear off their cars of snow and to give plows plenty of room on the roadways.

Below are tips that INDOT provided for driving in the snow.

  • “Stay home if you really don’t have to go out. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. Take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
  • Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
  • The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This added margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
  • Know your brakes. If you have anti-lock brakes (ABS) and need to slow down quickly, press hard on the pedal-it’s normal for the pedal to vibrate a bit when the ABS is activated.
  • Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
  • Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed down hill as slowly as possible.
  • Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road! Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.”

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