The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) urged extreme caution Friday ahead of this weekend's winter storm system that will blow through the state.
Heavy snow will hit some parts of the state while rain will fall in others. WisDOT warns road conditions will vary significantly depending on location, so those heading out on the roads should be aware.
Snowplow crews and emergency responders across the state are preparing for potentially hazardous conditions on the roads as well, officials say.
According to WisDOT, here is how you can prepare before winter travel:
- Know the current road conditions
- Clear snow and ice from vehicles before traveling.
- Fill the gas tank and windshield washer fluid.
- Alert others about your route and expected travel time.
According to WisDOT, here are precautions while driving:
- Increase following distance to leave stopping room.
- Turn headlights on in snowy and rainy conditions.
- Buckle up, phone down. Every trip, every time.
- Pay attention and limit distractions.
- Leave room for maintenance vehicles and snowplows. Move over or slow down for stopped emergency vehicles.
- Be cautious on bridges, overpasses, and entrance and exit ramps. They get icy faster than roads.
- Drive for current road conditions. Slow down. Posted speed limits are for ideal conditions.
- In case of a crash or slide off, stay in the vehicle, turn on the hazards, call 911 and move vehicle(s) out of traffic if possible.
Drivers are encouraged to check out WisDOT's 511wi.gov site periodically throughout the weekend to monitor road conditions and incidents. You can also download the app.
WisDOT reminds drivers it is illegal to follow a snowplow closer than 200 feet if the plow is removing snow or ice on highways with a posted speed limit of more than 35 mph.