Thursday, December 30, 2021

MoDOT News Release: Use caution when driving New Year’s Weekend

Use caution when driving New Year’s Weekend

Freezing rain and snow could create slippery holiday travel

JEFFERSON CITY – Ice in your glass is nice. Ice on the road—not so much. The new year is bringing the first significant winter weather of the season. Periods of sleet, freezing rain and snow throughout the state beginning late Friday and ending early Sunday could create slippery road conditions. The Missouri Department of Transportation urges travelers to use extreme caution and consult weather forecasts in your area and along the route to your destination when making holiday and weekend travel plans. Consulting MoDOT’s Traveler Information Map should be the first thing you do before taking to the road.

Even slight glazing of the pavement could impact travel, especially on elevated surfaces like bridges and overpasses. Slow down and allow yourself extra time if you must drive. If attending holiday parties on New Year’s Eve, consider staying at your party destination, especially if your celebration includes alcoholic beverages. You may need to stay put until the storm ends Sunday and road conditions improve.

Road conditions could deteriorate rapidly wherever freezing precipitation is falling. It only takes a little bit of ice to create slippery roads. Bitterly cold temperatures are expected to follow the storm, which could further impede travel and road clearing operations. If you are involved in a crash or slide off the road, the safest thing to do is to stay inside your vehicle and wait for help to arrive.

“Our crews will be out all weekend including clean up on Sunday. With our high turnover in staff this year, we have a lot of new team members who will be training through this first storm,” said MoDOT Chief Safety and Operations Officer Becky Allmeroth. “We advise the public to stay off the roads as much as possible and give us extra room and time to clean up after the storm.”

If your holiday plans involve alcohol, make sure you have a safe and sober ride pre-arranged for the drive home. Designate a driver, call a ride share or make arrangement to stay at your party destination.

There were 60 people killed and 270 seriously injured in Missouri traffic crashes between December 10, 2020 and January 1, 2021. Fifteen of the fatalities and 47 of the serious injuries involved a substance-impaired driver.

Check all current Missouri road conditions on the Traveler Information Map at www.modot.org, or through MoDOT’s smartphone app, available for iPhone and Android phones. You can also find road conditions and warnings by following MoDOT on Facebook and Twitter or by calling 888-ASK-MODOT (888-275-6636) to speak with a customer service representative 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.


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