Multiple counties under winter weather travel advisory, drivers - ABC21: Your Weather Authority

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Multiple counties under winter weather travel advisory, drivers urged to use caution

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ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WPTA21) -

With the expectation that rain early Friday morning will begin transitioning to ice during the morning commute, the Allen County Office of Homeland Security has issued a winter weather travel advisory for all of Allen county.

The advisory, which was issued at 4 a.m by Allen County Homeland Security Director Bernie Beier, reads:

"I have issued a Winter Weather Travel Advisory effective at 0400 1/12/2018 for Allen County, Indiana.  Rain will begin changing over to freezing rain and sleet during the morning commute this morning, creating potentially hazardous driving conditions.  Individuals are urged to Use Caution when traveling throughout Allen County, IN this morning."

Grant, Huntington, Kosciusko, Wells and Wabash counties have also declared winter weather travel advisories. A travel advisory is defined by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security as:

"The lowest level of local travel advisory, means that routine travel or activities may be restricted in areas because of a hazardous situation, and individuals should use caution or avoid those areas."

RELATED: County travel status map

RELATED: WINTER WEATHER PREPAREDNESS: Understand the difference between a winter weather watch and warning

ABC21 has been urging drivers to prepare for the possibility of black ice this morning by remembering these safety tips:

- Keep steering wheel straight

- Do not brake

-Take foot off accelerator to slow down

The Indiana State Police is reminding drivers to always obey all posted signs and adjust vehicle speed according to weather, road and traffic conditions.

When driving, allow plenty of space between vehicles for extra stopping distance. The Indiana Department of Transportation is reminding people to keep a safe distance behind snowplow operators. A rule of thumb is if salt is hitting your vehicle, you are following too close. Drivers should also avoid passing snow plows on two-lane roads.

If you are driving and your vehicle begins to skid, the National Weather Service says to remain calm, ease your foot off the gas and turn your wheels in the direction you want the front of the car to go. If your vehicle has an anti-lock braking system (ABS), apply steady pressure to the brake pedal. The NWS says to never pump the brakes on an ABS equipped vehicle. 

Keep in mind bridges and overpasses often become icy first. Snow and blowing snow can cause sudden restrictions in visibility. INDOT said a saying to remember while driving is "ice and snow, keep it slow." The NWS says more than 6,000 fatalities occur on roadways each year due to weather conditions. If you are having trouble seeing because of the weather conditions, pull over to the side of the road and stop your car until visibility improves. The NWS says to turn off your lights and use your parking brake when stopped so another car won't mistakenly follow your tail/brake lights and end up hitting you.

Preventative maintenance for vehicles can reduce the chances of encountering car trouble. Most drivers don/t think about maintenance until stranded on the side of the road.

  • check tire pressure and tread depth.
  • check battery, exhaust system, heater and defroster. Ensure the battery is not too old and that the terminals are tight and free of corrosion.
  • check antifreeze. Make sure that 50/50 antifreeze-water mixture is at its proper radiator level.
  • change oil every 3000 to 5000 miles.
  • check windshield wipers and blades. Replace blades each year and ensure extra wiper fluid is on hand.
  • keep an emergency kit in the vehicle that includes at a minimum a flashlight, blanket, jumper cables, clothes, toolkit and food.

If you become stranded in a snow or ice storm, stay with your vehicle as it provides dry shelter and protection from the cold and wind. The National Weather Service said you are also more likely to be found with your vehicle than if you leave it to seek shelter.

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