A winter storm system is moving through Wisconsin Friday into Saturday, bringing heavy snow in some parts of the state and rain in others. Road conditions will vary significantly depending on location, so Wisconsin Department of Transportation leaders are asking drivers to be weather aware if heading out on the roads.
Drivers are encouraged to check WisDOT’s 511wi.gov site periodically throughout the weekend to monitor road conditions and incidents in each region of the state.
Snowplow crews and emergency responders across Wisconsin are preparing for potentially hazardous conditions on the roads throughout the duration of the storm.
Preparation before winter travel
- Know the current road conditions. Check 511wi.gov for the latest updates.
- Download the 511 app to monitor conditions on the go.
- Monitor 511 Wisconsin on Twitter (@511WI) for the latest incidents and information.
- Clear snow and ice from vehicles before traveling.
- Fill the gas tank and windshield washer fluid.
- Alert others about your route and expected travel time.
Precautions while driving
- Increase following distance to leave stopping room.
- Turn headlights on in snowy and rainy conditions.
- Buckle up, phone down. Every trip, every time.
- Pay attention and limit distractions.
- Leave room for maintenance vehicles and snowplows. Move over or slow down for stopped emergency vehicles.
- Be cautious on bridges, overpasses, and entrance and exit ramps. They get icy faster than roads.
- Drive for current road conditions. Slow down. Posted speed limits are for ideal conditions.
- In case of a crash or slide off, stay in the vehicle, turn on the hazards, call 911 and move vehicle(s) out of traffic if possible.
Caution around snowplows
WisDOT reminds drivers it is illegal to follow a snowplow closer than 200 feet if the plow is removing snow or ice 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. The driver’s field of vision may also be restricted with snow and blowing conditions. Please give snowplows room.
For Motor Carriers
Trucking companies and their drivers are strongly encouraged to review their schedules and routes and plan accordingly. Commercial motor vehicle drivers should check 511 before departure and throughout their trips for current travel impacts and advisories. Oversize/Overweight drivers are reminded their permits restrict operations during inclement weather.