The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has issued an advisory warning motorists to travel with extreme caution since rain and thawing snow could lead to standing water on low-lying roads.
"The expected combination of a quick warming, rain, current river levels, ground frost depth, and then a temperature drop late in the week are creating the potential for flooding around the state," the agency said in a released statement. "IDOT is monitoring the conditions to ensure safety across Illinois. Crews are working to clear storm drains and will respond to problem areas as necessary."
IDOT offered the following driving tips:
- Do not drive through flooded areas.
- If a road covered by water seems shallow enough to cross, do not attempt to do so.
- If your car stalls, do not attempt to push it out; seek higher ground.
- Allow extra time for travel.
- Don’t crowd the plow – a snowplow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see them, but they may not see you.
- Be aware that black ice can form on roads that appear clear, and the unseen ice can be treacherous. Take it slow when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges and shady areas -- all are prone to black ice, which is often invisible.
- Always keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to help prevent the vehicle’s fuel line from freezing.
- Do not travel during bad weather unless absolutely necessary. If you must make a trip, check the forecast and make sure someone is aware of your travel route and schedule.
- Always carry an emergency car-care kit that contains jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, a small ice scraper, traction material, blankets, non-perishable food and a first-aid kit.
- Carry a few extra blankets in your car, and perhaps an extra coat to ensure protection in case of a breakdown.
- Carry a cell phone and dial *999 for roadway assistance in case of emergency (but remember using handheld phones while driving is illegal if it is not an emergency situation).
- Always wear a seat belt, front seat or back – it’s the law.