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Winter Traffic Natick, December 5, 2016MassDOT advises the public to monitor weather conditions with winter travel conditions expected Friday, utilize public transportation if possible, and make informed and safe decisions regarding their travel before they head out onto the roadways.

Drivers are advised to lower their speeds, give themselves extra time to reach their destinations, and remember MassDOT’s message, “Don’t Crowd the Plow”- stay behind snow removal equipment on the roadways. MassDOT strongly urges drivers to wear their seatbelts, minimize distractions, turn off or put away cell-phones and devote their full attention to what is ahead on the road.

“The forecast is calling for snow to begin during the early morning hours on Friday and continue throughout the day, reducing visibility to one mile or less at times and creating potentially hazardous conditions especially during the morning and afternoon commutes,” said Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin. “We encourage every traveler to utilize the appropriate resources and monitor conditions, stay indoors or take public transportation if at all possible, and if you must go out to allow extra time to reach destinations.”

As an example of the danger of failing to give snowplow drivers extra space, please see this video of a tractor trailer truck passing and clipping a snowplow in Utah and sending the plow truck off the road and through a guardrail.

For updates on road and traffic conditions in Massachusetts, drivers can:

  • Dial 511 and select a route to hear real-time conditions on I-90 and other roads.
  • Visit mass511.com, a website which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information, and allows users to subscribe to text and email alerts for traffic conditions.
  • Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT to receive regular updates on road and traffic conditions and MassDOT’s efforts to treat major highways throughout the Commonwealth.
  • Download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions before setting out on the road.

Other important winter driving tips include:

  • Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights – even the hood and roof- before driving, (start with the tailpipe).
  • Leave plenty of room for stopping.
  • Remember the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.
  • Use brakes carefully. Brake early. Brake correctly. It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.
  • Bridge decks freeze first. Due to the difference in the exposure to air, the surface condition can be worse on a bridge than on the approach road.
  • Exit ramps are an even greater challenge during the winter since they may have received less anti-icing material than the main line.
  • Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows – stay back at least 200 feet and don’t pass on the right.
  • Most importantly please remember to slow down. Also, seat belts should be worn at all times – it’s the law.

For more information, check MassDOT’s Safe Winter Driving Tips.

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