The Illinois Department of Transportation advised drivers Friday to travel with extreme caution as rain and melting snow could lead to standing water on low-lying roads throughout the state.
Standing water has been reported on several expressways in Chicago and other areas across the state. IDOT crews are working to clear storm drains and will respond to problem areas as necessary.
"The rain and melting snow can lead to standing water on roadways, which can be dangerous if not careful," said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. "Our crews are working diligently to monitor the conditions to ensure safety across Illinois throughout the duration of this thaw."
Flooding-related driving tips:
Do not drive through flooded areas
If a road covered by water seems shallow enough to cross, do not attempt to do so
If your car stalls, do not attempt to push it out; seek higher ground
Other Winter Safety Tips to Remember:
Allow extra time for travel.
Don't crowd the plow – a snow plow operator's field of vision is restricted. You may see them, but they may not see you.
Be aware that black ice can form on roads that appear clear and the unseen ice can be treacherous. Take it slow when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges and shady areas - all are prone to black ice, which is often invisible.
Always keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to help prevent the vehicle's fuel line from freezing.
Do not travel during bad weather unless absolutely necessary - if you do have to make a trip, check the forecast and make sure someone is aware of your travel route and schedule.
Always carry an emergency car care kit that contains jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, a small ice scraper, traction material, blankets, non-perishable food and a first aid kit.
Carry a few extra blankets in your car, and perhaps an extra coat to ensure protection in case of a breakdown.
Carry a cell phone and dial *999 for roadway assistance in case of emergency (but remember using handheld phones while driving is illegal if it is not an emergency situation).
Always wear a seat belt, front seat or back – it's the law.
Check travel and road conditions routinely before any trip. You can get road condition information by calling 1-800-452-IDOT (4368), Illinois Tollway information by calling 1-800-TOLL-FYI or online at www.gettingaroundillinois.com and click on the "winter road conditions" icon.