INDOT announced Feb. 14 preparation for what they called a “major winter storm” was complete.

INDOT began patrolling highways by 8 p.m. on Sunday and will remain active throughout the winter storm. The first wave of the storm that came in the overnight hours on Monday did not affect the morning commute; however, many reported the Tuesday, Feb. 16 evening drive proved more difficult than earlier in the day.

In a press release by INDOT, it was shared the following resources to respond to this winter weather event:

• More than 1,100 plow trucks;
• 200,000 tons of salt;
• 100,000 gallons of brine;
• More than 1,800 employees on call covering 28,000 lane miles.
Motorists are urged to stay off the roads during the winter storm if possible, to give plow drivers plenty of room to safely clear snow and ice.
INDOT also provided the following recommendations during the winter storm.

If you must travel:
• Slow down and stay behind the snowplows. The road behind the plow will be the safest place to drive. Allow at least ten car lengths between your vehicle and snowplows or hopper spreaders.
• Do not pass. The plows are wide, and sometimes a group of trucks will work in tandem to clear snow quickly, especially on major highways.
• Be particularly aware of black ice conditions on surfaces such as bridge decks and entrance and exit ramps.
• Due to extremely cold temperatures and sub-zero wind chills, salt will take longer to melt snow and ice. Blowing and drifting may also push snow back on to recently plowed routes.
• Four-wheel drive, anti-lock brakes and traction control are beneficial in winter weather, BUT they cannot take the place of good driving habits and the need to reduce speed on snowy or icy roads.
• Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle in case you're stranded and keep a cell phone charged in case you need to call for help.

Stay Informed:
• Travel advisories, watches and warnings are issued by county emergency management agencies. To check the travel status in a given county, visit www. in.gov/dhs/traveladvisory.
The latest winter driving conditions, traffic cameras, travel speeds and more are available at indot.cars program.org