KOSCIUSKO — The Indiana Department of Transportation expects to have a full call-out of plows across its northwest district as it prepares to battle this weekend’s anticipated winter storm.
Forecasters are predicting the system will enter the district from the west Friday night, tapering off by sometime Saturday afternoon with an anticipated 3 to 6 inches of accumulation possible. A secondary lake effect system is also expected to impact the northwest portion of the district. All this will be followed by frigid temperatures and wind chill factors.
High winds are expected to accompany this event, which can cause significant challenges for motorists. Avoid unnecessary travel. However, if travel is a must, please keep the following in mind:
- Reduce speeds. Remember: “Ice and snow, take it slow.” Nobody should be driving interstate speeds in winter weather.
- Plan plenty of time to reach your destination safely and be patient. Don’t put yourself and others in a dangerous situation by being in a rush.
- Keep a safe distance. Make sure your vehicle is following at a safe distance to stop. Do not tailgate, especially around snow plows, and try not to pass.
- Pay attention. Avoid all distractions and focus only on the task of driving safely. Be aware of your surroundings, drive defensively and be alert for others who are not driving safely.
Also, remember it’s always safest behind the plow.
- Don’t crowd the plow. The front of the plow extends many feet in front of the truck. It may cross the centerline and shoulders while plowing.
- Don’t assume the plow driver can see you. A plow driver’s field of vision is very limited — you may see them, but they may not be able to see you.
- Don’t tailgate or stop too close behind a plow. Plow trucks are usually releasing salt from the back of the truck. Often, the trucks stop or take evasive action to avoid a stranded vehicle or animal. Snow plows create a cloud of snow that reduces visibility. Don’t travel too closely — leave four to five car-lengths ahead.
- Use caution to pass. Try not to travel beside a plow for too long — when plowing through a snow drift or packed snow, the impact can move the plow trucks sideways. If you have to pass a plow, do so on the left side — plows typically move snow to the right as lanes are cleared. They also turn and exit the road frequently.
- Snow plows travel slower. Plow trucks travel approximately 30 to 35 miles per hour when they’re removing snow and ice. Allow plenty of time to stop or slow down when you’re behind one of our yellow trucks.