SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — With a major winter storm coming later this week, the Illinois Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to stay safe on the road with winter weather.

While IDOT will have more than 1,800 trucks to deploy for winter weather, agency officials are asking for motorists to practice safe driving to keep roads safe.

“The dedicated men and women at IDOT who battle the wintry elements to keep Illinois moving are ready at all times,” said IDOT Secretary Omer Osman. “However, we can’t do it alone. It is imperative that you do your part as well. Be prepared to reduce speeds, stay patient and increase driving distance between vehicles at all times. And please share the roads – don’t crowd the plow.”

The department advises against travelling in the snow and the ice, but for those who must travel officials recommend the following tips:

  • Give yourself extra time to head to your destination so you can slow down.
  • You should always buckle up and keep off your cell phone when driving, but especially when driving with winter precipitation.
  • Watch out for black ice. Intersections, ramps, and bridges can also be especially bus.
  • Don’t crowd the plow.
  • Obey Move Over laws to slow down and switch lanes for any vehicle stopped with hazard lights on.
  • Pack an emergency kit with jumper cables, reflectors, windshield washer fluid, materials for traction, an ice scraper, blankets, a first-aid kit, a cell phone charger and non-perishable food and water.

State Police are also asking for drivers to slow down.

“Winter weather can change driving conditions quickly, especially when temperatures fall rapidly, turning even a dusting of snow into a sheet of ice,” said ISP Director Brendan Kelly. “When you see snow, drive slow. Make sure to give yourself extra time to get where you’re going, slow down, and keep more distance between you and other drivers.”

IDOT also hosts a map showing travel conditions this winter on their website. They also created a YouTube video with more winter driving advice.

For tollways in Illinois, you can check this website for road conditions. You can also dial *999 for assistance on a tollway if their vehicle gets stuck.