CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — The Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police are urging people to avoid unnecessary driving in impacted areas this weekend.

Statewide, IDOT has available more than 1,800 trucks and equipment to apply salt, treat roads and respond to weather emergencies. If you encounter a plow or any maintenance vehicle during your travels, please slow down, increase your driving distance and remain patient.

WCIA Meteorologist Jacob Dickey reports heavy snow continues north of I-74, with rain to the south. Breezy winds will also be a factor for us as the area of low pressure passes to the south. The low temperature is expected to happen between 9p and 12a, before slowly warming up into Sunday morning.

WCIA 3 Forecaster Amelia Henderson says vehicles are sliding off the roads on I-74 near Danville.

IDOT and ISP crews are keeping a close eye on weather activity to the north.

“Our snow-and-ice teams will be ready and out in force, but with this latest round of winter weather happening over the weekend, the choice of staying indoors should be strongly considered,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “If driving is necessary, know that conditions at times could be treacherous. Buckle up. Slow down. Put down the phone. Give our plows room to work. And build plenty of additional time into your schedule.”

Other tips if you must travel:

• Take it slow, especially when approaching intersections, ramps, bridges and shaded areas that are prone to icing.
• Make sure your gas tank is full.
• Keep a cell phone, warm clothes, blankets, food, water, a first-aid kit, washer fluid and an ice scraper in your vehicle.
• Check the forecast and make sure someone is aware of your route and schedule.
• Carry a cellphone and dial *999 in the Chicago area for assistance in case of emergency.
• Reminder: Using handheld phones while driving is illegal in Illinois, unless it is an emergency situation.
• If you are involved in a crash, remain inside your vehicle. Exiting your vehicle into live traffic can have fatal consequences.
• Always wear a seat belt, whether you’re sitting in the front seat or back seat. It’s the law.

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