Stay safe on Missouri roads during upcoming winter storm

Winter motorist driving safety
Share To Your Social Network

Missouri is gearing up for its first major snowfall of the season, with forecasts predicting snow and snow showers across parts of the state. Motorists are advised to exercise caution, as even a light dusting can significantly impact travel conditions.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol stresses the importance of increasing the following distance while driving on snowy, wet, or icy roads. Quick stops can be difficult under these conditions. Special attention should be given to elevated roadways like bridges and ramps, which may freeze more rapidly. A seemingly wet surface could be treacherously icy. Maintaining a minimum five-second gap between vehicles is recommended, particularly in adverse weather. In 2022, weather-related crashes in Missouri resulted in 51 fatalities and 1,969 injuries.

Troopers urge residents to stay informed about weather conditions and make prudent travel decisions. If possible, avoid driving during severe weather. Ensure your vehicle is free of snow, use headlights for better visibility, and reduce speed on wet or snowy roads. Overnight drops in temperature could lead to icy conditions.

Missouri law mandates the use of headlights when windshield wipers are in operation. Driving at the speed limit might not always equate to “exercising the highest degree of care,” as stated in Section 304.012 RSMo. Drivers are responsible for adjusting speed according to weather conditions, avoiding cruise control, and increasing following distances.

For winter preparedness, the Highway Patrol advises keeping the fuel tank at least half full and storing essentials like an ice scraper, booster cables, blankets, extra clothing, water, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, a flashlight, a small shovel, and sand or cat litter in your vehicle.

Before setting out, ensure your cell phone is fully charged. Avoid using the phone while driving; instead, stop safely before making a call. For emergencies, dial *55 on a cellular phone to reach the nearest Missouri State Highway Patrol troop headquarters.

Motorists are encouraged to check MoDOT’s Road Condition Map or download the MoDOT Traveler Information Map app for up-to-date road conditions. This information can help decide if a trip is safe to undertake. During winter weather, communication officers are heavily occupied, so using these resources instead of contacting law enforcement is advisable.

Share To Your Social Network