PESOTUM — Illinois State Police District 10 officials are advising the roadways in District 10 continue to be extremely dangerous. Counties include Champaign, Douglas, Coles, Vermilion, Edgar, Moultrie, Piatt, Shelby, and Macon. INTERSTATE-57, INTERSTATE-72, INTERSTATE-74, State Routes, and US Routes remain dangerous with snow packed drifts, icy patches, and now partial melting snow/slush as temperatures have climbed enough for the salt to start working. Motorists traveling on Interstate 57 continue to slide off the roadway into the median and ditches.
Motorists should use caution, reduce speed, and allow for extra travel time. Motorists are also reminded to have an emergency kit in their vehicle. Illinois State Police District 10 would like to remind drivers of the following driving tips for inclement weather: 1) only use cruise control on dry surfaces, 2) if you lose traction gradually slow down, do not slam on the brakes, 3) use caution when driving on bridges and ramps, frost forms on these surfaces first, 4) be careful when approaching shaded areas, this is the last place for ice and snow to melt. Our basic driving tips are the same all year: DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE, SLOW DOWN, ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SEATBELT and NO TEXTING.
Another important safety factor is vehicle maintenance. Check the tread on your tires. Check the windshield wipers for cracks and wear, and fill your windshield fluid reservoir. Keep your gas tank at least half full to prevent water build up that can freeze the line and to ensure you have enough gas for heat if you are stranded. Check your lights and drive with them on during daylight hours in fog or precipitation.
Additional equipment you should put in your vehicle: tools (jack, lug wrench), bottled water, non-perishable food, extra warm clothes, boots, hats and gloves, ice scraper, flashlight with fresh batteries, first aid kit, jumper cables, blanket/sleeping bag(s), a bright colored cloth to tie on your antennae as a flag if you are stranded and an old cell phone with car charger (a deactivated phone will activate when “911” is dialed).
A complete list of road closures can be found on the Illinois Department of Transportation website www.illinoisroads.info and www.gettingaroundillinois.com or 1-800-452-4368.
Stranded motorists are encouraged to remain inside their vehicles.