OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — If you've lived in the Midwest long enough, you're probably an expert at winter driving by now--but the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) issued some friendly reminders on Monday.
NDOT says while they strive to be ready for all winter storms, some are so severe that no amount of preparation can stall the conditions that come with extremely low visibility, heavy snowfall or dangerous ice.
“Last season, Nebraska experienced one of the worst winters on record. We had more snow events during the winter of 2018-2019 than anyone can recall at the Nebraska Department of Transportation,” said Director Kyle Schneweis.
When conditions are hazardous, NDOT might advise drivers to restrict their travel or tell drivers to not travel at all. They say these advisories aren't issued without considerable thought and weighing the effects.
Ultimately, reducing the amount of travelers on the roadway during a winter storm improves safety all-around and speeds up snow and ice removal.
As winter storms approach, travelers can stay alert through Nebraska 511. The system is available 24/7 through their smartphone app or at this website.
Drivers can also dial 5-11 for information within the state. Those calling from outside Nebraska can call 1-800-906-9069.
Travelers can also utilize NDOT's Plow Tracker at this website.
NDOT reminds drivers to be prepared with warm clothing, water and food. If traveling a far distance, a winter weather survival kit stocked with additional items is advised.
Additionally, travelers should not drive faster than conditions allow.
Drivers also should be courteous of snow plows, making sure to do the following, according to NDOT:
· Slow down as you approach plows. They travel slowly, usually 25 to 30 mph or less.
· Stay well behind plows to give you and them plenty of room. When traveling outside of a
business or residential district, it is unlawful to follow a highway maintenance vehicle (snowplow,
truck or grader) more closely than 100 feet when it is plowing snow, spreading salt or sand, or
displaying a flashing amber or blue light.
· Never pass a plow on the right – snowplows are equipped with “wing plows” which extend
beyond the truck itself.
· Know where plows are and actions they may be taking while they plow snow.
For safe-driving tips and winter weather information, visit NDOT’s website.