Indiana Department of Transportation maintenance supervisors are closely monitoring local forecasts for a weekend storm system that could bring periods of rain, freezing rain and snow. INDOT will deploy its yellow salt trucks ahead of any predicted accumulation on Indiana’s interstates, U.S. highways and state routes.
INDOT will adjust its call out of manpower, trucks and materials as appropriate to address changes in forecasted and observed road conditions. Trained INDOT employees are on call to staff plow trucks around the clock with alternating 12 to 16 hour shifts.
Black ice or slick spots brought about from freezing rain and frost can be difficult for drivers to distinguish from dry pavement. Even four-wheel-drive vehicles and large trucks are no match if all tires are on ice.
A few degrees can mean the difference between rain, ice or snow, so freezing rain can also be difficult for forecasters to pinpoint far in advance. INDOT maintenance supervisors use our statewide network of road and bridge pavement sensors and reports from law enforcement and the public to supplement local weather forecasts.
If the forecast indicates frost or other freezing weather, INDOT sprays a salt-water mixture to pre-treat bridges, which are likely to freeze first. If a storm is predicted to lead off with rain, salt trucks pre-treat our roads just before pavement temperatures fall below freezing and the snow and ice begin to accumulate.
There are several steps that drivers can take to minimize the risk of losing control on icy roads:
- Consult hourly weather forecasts and schedule high-speed and long-distance trips during the warmer hours of the day. This will help save the extra time needed to slow down and drive according to the conditions.
- Know before you go by checking local road and bridge pavement sensors at http://rwis.in.gov and the red-yellow-green traffic speeds on your map app or http://indot.carsprogram.org.
- Monitor current air temperatures and slow down if conditions are near or below freezing. Watch how salt trucks, emergency vehicles and other drivers are responding to the weather.
- Apply anti-lock brakes firmly when encountering ice. Pump brakes that are not anti-lock. Do not overcorrect with steering.
For social media updates, find the INDOT Facebook and Twitter pages for your regional district at: www.in.gov/indot/3074.htm