INDIANA — Isolated snowstorms combined with persistent and gusty winds are set to hit much of Indiana this evening and on Friday, Dec. 30. The Indiana Department of Transportation and National Weather Service advise that these sudden, intense snow squalls could quickly reduce visibility and create hazardous travel conditions.
Snow squalls greatly increase the chances for multi-vehicle, chain-reaction crashes on high-speed highways like interstates.
INDOT is monitoring multiple forecasts and readying its yellow plow trucks. Crews are pretreating roads with salt brine and will work around the clock as needed to keep roads plowed and treated as snow arrives.
If you get caught in a snow squall or whiteout conditions, use these tips to help you get to safety.
- Slow down. Take your foot off the gas before hitting the “wall” of snow and gradually reduce our speed to what is suitable for the conditions. Not only will visibility be reduced, you will need more time and distance to stop or turn.
- Be smooth. Make steering and braking smooth and gentle to maximize your tires’ grip. Sudden steering or braking will quickly overcome that grip and the loss of traction can result in a spin or slide.
- See and be seen. If you can’t see others, they can’t see you. Turn on all of your vehicle’s exterior lights, including four-way flashers, to give other drivers a better chance of seeing you. Many cars have automatic lighting systems and drivers may forget about the extra lights designed for emergencies and moments of low visibility.
- Check the front and rear. Be aware of not only the vehicle in front but the one behind. Increase the distance from the vehicle in front as you will need more room to stop if it does. Monitor the proximity of vehicles to your rear.
- Scan right. Continually scan the side of the road to your right, both to know where it is on the road and to avoid vehicles that have pulled off.
- Stop if conditions get too bad. Find a place to exit off interstates or high-speed highways. If you must pull onto the shoulder, pull as far away from traffic as is safely possible.
- Stay buckled. If you become stuck or stranded, stay buckled in your car, turn your four-way flashers on, open your window slightly and run the engine occasionally to stay warm until the storm passes.