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IL Dept. of Transportation urges caution during overnight drizzle

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The Illinois Department of Transportation is advising the public that a combination of freezing rain, drizzle and sleet is expected to impact travel throughout Sunday and during the overnight hours. Icy conditions will make driving treacherous and motorists are advised to make preparations if they plan to be on the road.

“If you are going to be traveling, you should first ask yourself if your trip is necessary before heading out,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “We are working hard to make our roads safe and passable, but conditions are expected to be challenging. We are asking the public to please plan ahead, slow down and expect much longer than usual travel times.”

Throughout the state, whenever possible, IDOT crews today have been pretreating bridges, overpasses and ramps, the areas most susceptible to icing. The department will have available more than 1,700 trucks and equipment statewide, applying salt and treating roads.

Motorists should expect slick roadways and be extra cautious when driving.

For regular updates on statewide road conditions, visit www.gettingaroundillinois.com. You can also follow IDOT on Facebook and Twitter.

The National Weather Service is forecasting a mix of light snow, sleet and freezing rain starting this morning, primarily in the central and southern regions of the state. Freezing drizzle is anticipated in northern Illinois this afternoon and evening. Coupled with very cold pavement conditions due to recent subzero temperatures, roads will become hazardous if the precipitation persists after the sun sets and into the overnight hours.

If you have to travel:

  • Take it slow, especially when approaching intersections, ramps, bridges and shady areas. All are prone to black ice, an invisible danger during some winter storms.
  • Make sure your gas tank is full.
  • Keep a cellphone, warm clothes, blankets, food, water, a first aid kit, washer fluid, and an ice scraper in your vehicle.
  • If you have to make a trip, check the forecast and make sure someone is aware of your travel route and schedule.
  • Carry a cellphone and dial *999 in the Chicago area for roadway assistance in case of emergency.
  • Reminder: Using handheld phones while driving is illegal in Illinois, unless it is an emergency situation.
  • Always wear a seat belt, whether you’re sitting in the front seat or back seat. It’s the law.
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