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As snowfall trails off, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation urges motorists to still take extra precautions if travel is necessary.

WisDOT’s 511wi.gov winter road condition map shows local roads are improved and declared “Good Winter Driving” as of 5 a.m. Thursday.

Preparation before winter travel, however, remain important, WisDOT says:
  • Know the current road conditions, check 511wi.gov for the latest updates
  • Clear snow and ice from vehicles prior to traveling
  • Ensure full tank of gas and windshield washer fluid
  • Inform others about your route and expected travel time
Precautions while driving include:
  • Drive for road conditions, slow down; posted speed limits are for ideal conditions
  • Increase following distance, leaving plenty of room for stopping
  • Headlights on
  • Buckle up
  • Pay attention and limit distractions
  • Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows, move over or slow down for stopped emergency vehicles
  • Be cautious on bridges, overpasses and entrance and exit ramps as they ice sooner than roadways
  • If you are in a crash, or in a run-off-the-road incident: stay in your vehicle; activate your vehicle’s hazard lights; call 911

Caution around snowplows

WisDOT reminds motorists that it is illegal to follow a snowplow closer than 200 feet if the plow is engaged in snow and ice removal on highways with a posted speed limit of more than 35 mph. Most crashes involving snowplows and vehicles happen when a snowplow is rear-ended or hit while being passed.

Motorists may legally pass a working snowplow but are advised to use extreme caution as road conditions could be worse ahead of the plow.

Dangerously cold air to impact road conditions

Strong, gusty northwest winds of 15 to 25 mph, with gusts to 35 mph are forecasted for Thursday. Wind chills of -20 to -40 degrees are expected over the next few days. Extensive blowing and drifting of new snow across open and unsheltered areas will add additional travel hazards.

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Rex Davenport

Rex Davenport is a reporter, editor and editorial project manager with more than 40 years of experience in newspaper, business magazines and other content channels.