|Winter is its way - are you ready?|
|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Friday, 04 November 2011 18:03|
The Nebraska Department of Roads’ crews are prepared for winter weather’s annual badgering. Workers and equipment will be out to clear the highways and to monitor changing conditions through the snow, the cold and the bold (drivers).
Motorists should be prepared too.
When traveling outside of a business or residential district, it is unlawful to follow a highway maintenance vehicle (snowplow, truck, or grader) more closely than 100 feet when it is
plowing snow, spreading salt or sand, or displaying a flashing amber or blue light.
If conditions permit, however, drivers may carefully pass a maintenance vehicle. Snowplows cause soft snow to swirl. It can become difficult to see a plow, or the plow operator to see you.
Drive with your headlights on.
Make sure your headlights, taillights, and windows are clean and clear of snow so you can see and be seen.
Plowing snow on a multi-lane roadway is often done in tandem (more than one snowplow at a time). Give them plenty of room! Do not pass on the right side and always stay where the operator can see you.
Beware of icy spots when driving, especially on bridges and in sheltered areas. Drive at a reduced speed and allow plenty of distance for reacting to traffic. Slow down gradually when approaching curves and intersections.
Motorists may use studded snow tires in Nebraska from November 1 to April 1. School buses, emergency vehicles, and mail carrier vehicles may use them anytime during the year.
Check often for current weather reports through local media sources before you travel.
Keep a radio on. Weather conditions change rapidly and so do the road conditions.
For 24-hour-a-day, year-round Nebraska traveler information, dial 511 on your cell phone or landline. If outside Nebraska, dial 800-906-9069. 511 provides motorists current
information about weather conditions, road conditions, and travel advisories.
Know before you go. The 511 system and various other weather links are available at www.transportation.nebraska.gov or www.511.nebraska.gov.
Make sure everyone in a motor vehicle wears a seat belt and children are in a car safety seat. Do not use cruise control in wet or snowy weather and do keep your gas tank full.
Winter Weather Words to Know
Winter Storm Watch — A winter storm is possible or approaching.
Winter Storm Warnings — A winter storm is imminent.
Snow Advisory — One to five inches is expected.
Blowing and Drifting Snow Advisory — Visibility can be at or below a quarter mile.
Wind Chill Advisory — Wind chills of -30 to -35 are expected.
Freezing Rain/Sleet Advisory — An accumulation of freezing rain or sleet could make exposed surfaces dangerous or cause damage.