INDIANA — As part of Winter Weather Preparedness Week this Nov. 13 through 19, the Indiana Department of Transportation on Monday detailed its preparations for the upcoming winter season. INDOT today encourages the motoring public to prepare themselves for safe winter travel.
Prepare Your Vehicle
The time to get your car ready for winter is before the snow starts flying! Use this handy checklist to make sure you check out all the important parts!
- Check and add anti-freeze
- Top out window washer fluid
- Replace worn wiper blades
- Check tire tread & air pressure
- Test anti-lock brakes
- Check battery & make sure terminals are free of corrosion
- Check exhaust system, heater & defroster
- Change oil at 3,000-5,000 miles
- Prepare For Emergencies
Assemble an Emergency Kit as a precaution against breakdowns and slide-offs. Always keep these things handy in your vehicle:
- First aid kit
- Blankets and extra warm clothing
- High-calorie food and water
- Crucial medications
- Cell phone charger
- Road salt, sand or kitty litter for tire traction
- Small shovel or ice scraper
- Jumper cables
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Matches, candle and small can for drinking melted snow
In addition, keep your cell phone charged and with you and the vehicle with at least a half tank of gas.
Personalized traffic alerts
When yellow plow trucks are deployed, INDOT winter operations staff will again update the TrafficWise traveler information service with road conditions for interstates, U.S. highways and state roads. For road conditions, crashes and construction information, dial 1 (800) 261-ROAD (7623) or 511 from a mobile phone.
New for this winter, INDOT’s TrafficWise website now includes a “Personalize your 511” feature. Users can sign up for email or text-message alerts for specific routes, such as commutes to and from work, or larger areas drawn on the map. Visit online and create a free account.
INDOT reminds motorists it is illegal to type, transmit, or read e-mail or text messages on a communication device while driving in Indiana.
Avoid mailbox damage
While weather still allows, homes and businesses are reminded to prepare roadside mailboxes now ahead of snow plowing. INDOT snowfighters are careful to avoid mailboxes, but despite their best efforts, the weight of snow rolling off the plow sometimes damages mailboxes with weak supports. INDOT offers property owners these tips to help reduce the risk of mailbox damage:
- Avoid plastic mailboxes, which may shatter in cold weather.
- Install mailboxes as far from the edge of the road as the carrier can reach from a vehicle.
- Inspect existing mailboxes and replace deteriorated posts, mountings or footers.
- Place reflective tape to help snowfighters see the mailbox at night.
INDOT is not able to repair damaged mailboxes. Property owners that follow the tips above and still suffer mailbox damage should change locations or install a snow shield or wooden protectors available through local hardware stores.
Frost on bridges
With overnight temperatures dipping, the risks increase for frost and freezing fog on bridges. Bridge decks are cooled by air above and beneath and are the first to freeze.
To prevent icy bridges, INDOT’s yellow trucks spray bridge decks with a brine solution of 23 percent salt and 77 percent water. In some locations the brine is made by recycling water used to wash INDOT trucks.
When air temperatures approach or dip below 32 degrees, INDOT advises drivers to reduce speeds and minimize lane changes while crossing bridges.
Subscribe to receive text and email alerts about INDOT projects and services here.
Find links to INDOT’s regional Facebook and Twitter pages here. INDOT will be providing snow and ice removal updates with posts tagged #INDOTWinterOps.