INDOT wants you and your family to stay safe on the roads this winter. By following these tips and advice, you’ll be ready for winter driving. And don’t forget: Ice and Snow, Take it Slow!
- Knowledge: Before leaving home, find out about the driving conditions. Safe drivers know the weather, and their limits. If the weather is bad remember, Ice and Snow, Take it Slow, or just don’t go.
- Clear: Remove any snow on your vehicle’s windows, lights, brake lights and signals. Make sure you can see and be seen.
- Inspect: Check your vehicle’s tires, wiper blades, fluids, lights, belts and hoses. A breakdown is bad on a good day and dangerous on a bad-weather day.
- Time: Leave plenty of time to reach your destination safely. It’s not worth putting yourself and others in a dangerous situation just to be on time.
Caution: Slippery When Wet!
When driving in winter weather, watch out! Mother Nature has some tricks up her sleeve in the winter. Here are some to be on the look out for:
- First Snow or Ice: Drivers often aren’t prepared for winter driving and forget to take it slow. Remember to drive well below the posted speed limit and leave plenty of room between cars.
- Black Ice: Roads that seem dry may actually be slippery – and dangerous. Take it slow when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges or shady areas – all are hot spots for black ice. Remember, Ice and Snow, Take it Slow.
- Limited Visibility: Stay attentive and reduce speed. Know what’s going on around you.
- Four-Wheel Drive: On snow and ice, go slowly, no matter what type of vehicle you drive. Even if you have an SUV with four-wheel drive you may not be able to stop any faster, or maintain control any better, once you lose traction. Four-wheel drive may get you going faster, but it won’t help you stop sooner.
Staying Safe Around Snowplows
In the winter, INDOT snowplow drivers are out on the roads to keep them clear of snow and ice and keep you safe. Here’s what you need to know about driving around snowplows:
- Distance: Give snowplows room to work. The plows are wide and can cross the centerline or shoulder. Don’t tailgate and try not to pass. If you must pass, take extreme caution and beware of the snow cloud.
- Speed: Snowplows travel below the posted speed limit. Be patient. Allow plenty of time to slow down. Remember, Ice and Snow, Take it Slow.
- Vision: A snowplow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see them, but they don’t always see you. Keep your distance and watch for sudden stops or turns.
Proceed with Caution!
- Speed: The faster you’re going, the longer it will take to stop. When accelerating on snow or ice, take it slow to avoid slipping or sliding. Ice and Snow, Take it Slow.
- Distance: Give yourself space. It takes extra time and extra distance to bring your car to a stop on slick and snowy roads. Leave extra room between you and the vehicle in front of you.
- Brake: Brake early, brake slowly, brake correctly and never slam on the brakes. If you have anti-lock brakes, press the pedal down firmly and hold it. If you don’t have anti-lock brakes, gently pump the pedal. Either way, give yourself plenty of room to stop.
- Control: When driving on ice and snow, do not use cruise control and avoid abrupt steering maneuvers. When merging into traffic, take it slow. Sudden movements can cause your vehicle to slide.
- Vision: Be aware of what’s going on well ahead of you. Actions by other vehicles will alert you to problems more quickly, and give you that split-second of extra time to react safely.
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Know your Flooding Risk
Flooding is a temporary overflowing of water onto land that is normally dry. Flooding may happen with only a few inches of water, or it may cover a house to the rooftop. There are many possible causes of floods including heavy rain or snowmelt, coastal storms and storm surge, waterway overflow from being blocked with debris or ice, or overflow of levees, dams, or waste water systems, Flooding can occur slowly over many days or happen very quickly with little or no warning, called flash floods.
Flooding can happen in any U.S. state or territory. It is particularly important to be prepared for flooding if you live in a low-lying area near a body of water, such as near a river, stream, or culvert; along a coast; or downstream from a dam or levee.
Flooding can occur during every season, but some areas of the country are at greater risk at certain times of the year. Coastal areas are at greater risk for flooding during hurricane season (i.e., June to November), while the Midwest is more at risk in the spring and during heavy summer rains. Ice jams occur in the spring in the Northeast and Northwest. Even the deserts of the Southwest are at risk during the late summer monsoon season.
Basic Safety Tips
- Turn Around, Don’t Drown! ®
- Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
- Do not drive over bridges that are over fast-moving floodwaters. Floodwaters can scour foundation material from around the footings and make the bridge unstable.
Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground.
If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car and enter moving water.
- Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.
Flood Watch = “Be Aware.” Conditions are right for flooding to occur in your area.
Steps to Take
Turn on your TV/radio. You will receive the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
Know where to go. You may need to reach higher ground quickly and on foot.
Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
Prepare Your Home
Bring in outdoor furniture and move important indoor items to the highest possible floor. This will help protect them from flood damage.
Disconnect electrical appliances and do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. You could be electrocuted.
- If instructed, turn off your gas and electricity at the main switch or valve. This helps prevent fires and explosions.
Flood Warning = "Take Action!" Flooding is either happening or will happen shortly.
Steps to Take