February 6 2018

MassDOT Offers Safety Tips Ahead of Possible Snow/Ice Storm


The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is offering safety tips ahead of a winter storm that could impact the evening commute on Wednesday.


As reported on BNEWS, the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the region that is in effect from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesday. During that time snow and a mix of snow and freezing rain is expected with the bulk of it falling in the afternoon.


“This storm is expected to bring snow, freezing rain, sleet, and ice to locations across the Commonwealth meaning that members of the public should monitor roadway conditions and make informed decisions before heading out onto the roadways,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “While the initial early morning commute may be free of impacts, we expect that heavy snow and mixed precipitation including sleet and freezing rain will fall throughout the day, possibly creating challenging conditions for the afternoon commute. Drivers should reduce speeds, give themselves extra time to reach their destinations, and provide plenty of space to snow and ice equipment on the roadways.”

MassDOT’s snow and ice operations will be deployed as conditions necessitate, the release states. Crews are currently conducting preparation activities in advance of the winter weather including pretreating roadways with brine and Magnesium Chloride. MassDOT is also currently planning deployments of snowplows and spreaders and maintenance equipment.


“If drivers must go out on the roadways, they are advised to drive the conditions, lower their speeds and give themselves extra time to reach their destinations,” the release states, adding that people should remember MassDOT’s message, “Don’t Crowd the Plow,” meaning that motorists should stay behind snow removal equipment on the roadways. MassDOT strongly urges drivers to always wear seatbelts, minimize distractions, turn off or put away cell-phones and devote full attention to what is ahead on the road.

For updates on road and traffic conditions in Massachusetts, drivers can:

- Dial 511 before heading out onto the roadways and select a route to hear real-time conditions.


- Visit www.mass511.com, a website which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information, access to traffic cameras, and allows users to subscribe to text and email alerts for traffic conditions.


- Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT to receive regular updates on road and traffic conditions


- Download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions before setting out on the road.

Other important winter driving tips include:

- Clear snow and ice from all motor vehicle windows, lights, tailpipe area, hood and roof before driving.


- Leave plenty of room for stopping.


- Remember that the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.


- Use brakes carefully. Brake early. Brake correctly. It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.


- Bridge decks freeze first. Due to the difference in the exposure to air, the surface condition can be worse on a bridge than on the approach road.


- Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows – stay back at least 200 feet and don’t pass on the right.


- Seat belts should be worn at all times – it’s the law.


- Most importantly please remember to slow down.


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