The first significant snowfall of the season is pushing into Iowa and motorists are being urged to adjust accordingly.
The Iowa Department of Transportation’s Craig Bargfrede says you should first evaluate the need for the trip. If you have no other choice but to venture out, give yourself extra time to reach your destination safely.
“The biggest pointers we give to the public are slow down, don’t use your cruise control, and please be watching out for the plows,” Bargfrede said.
Portions of central and northern Iowa may get eight or more inches of snow between this afternoon and early tomorrow. When the snow hits the pavement, it will probably turn to slush, and it could be deep in places. Bargfrede says slush on the road can “pull” your vehicle, so keep a good grip on the wheel.
“Obviously, in those conditions, it can really have a significant impact on the steerability of your vehicle. You need to reduce speed and be ever vigilant as to your closure rate with other vehicles,” Bargfrede said.
Anytime rain or snow is falling, even during the daytime, it’s a good idea to turn on your headlights. “In these conditions, it’s best to have them on all of the time. That just helps improve the safety and visibility of you on the highway,” Bargfrede said. The Iowa DOT has worked to improve the visibility of its snow plows.
Bargfrede says some plows in central Iowa are now outfitted with a blue, white, and amber lighting combination — rather than just amber lights. “The ultimate goal with that is to increase viability of our trucks, improving safety for the traveling public and our operators,” Bargfrede said. For the latest information on road conditions, motorists can visit 511ia.org or download the 511 app on your phone.