(UNDATED) – With winter weather season around the corner, Indiana Department of Transportation snow fighters are gearing up and making sure all of our #YellowTrucks are ready when the first flurries fly. It’s also a time for the motoring public to be aware of safety measures that can be taken for protection during winter.
Since the end of September, INDOT has been performing inspections on our fleet to make sure all of our snow plows and equipment are in working order for the winter season. Since our trucks are also used during the summer months, they require regular routine maintenance and repairs before they are ready to take on winter weather conditions. These inspections include checks on the truck’s frame, hydraulic hoses, tires, electrical components, engine and more. Any trucks in need of maintenance either routine or more extensive, are repaired and made ready by INDOT’s team of in-house mechanics before the winter months begin.
During this time, INDOT has also been busy making sure we are staffed appropriately to handle the demands of winter weather conditions. At this time the southwest district has 268 snowplow drivers to cover 143 routes district wide. During a snow event drivers will work 12-hour shifts on routes that take 2-3 hours to complete one cycle.
What you can do to minimize winter weather hazards
Winter weather preparedness is also the responsibility of the motoring public. During winter weather events, there are certain steps you can take to avoid injury or property damage:
- In case of being stranded
- Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle with blankets, nonperishable food, water, and a phone charger.
- Keep a shovel, cat litter and cold-weather clothing in your vehicle to dig yourself out
- Always keep a full tank of gas
INDOT also urges residents to dig out around their mailboxes. Especially during heavy and wet winter weather events, snow can come off a plow blade at a very high rate of speed. While it’s never the intention of a driver to knock over a mailbox, it can happen. It’s less likely to happen if the snow has been cleared around the mailbox post.
If you must drive in a snow event, slow down, minimize distractions, stay off your phone, leave extra room for braking and always leave extra time to get to your destination. If you encounter a plow on the roadway, make sure to give them extra room as well because they may not be able to see you if you tailgate or try to pass. While being behind a plow ensures you are on a freshly treated road, if you do try and pass a snowplow, do so as quickly as you can in a safe manner. Our #YellowTrucks do have blind spots and if a driver needs to make a maneuver they may not be able to see you.
Finally, if you have questions about winter operations or would like to make a report to INDOT during an event or any other time, you can call the INDOT Transportation Services Call Center at 1-855-INDOT4U (463-6848). You can also report concerns online at indot.in.gov, or through the INDOT mobile app for Apple and Android devices.
Motorists in Southwest Indiana can monitor road closures, road conditions, and traffic alerts any time via: