Many areas in of Nebraska have been fortunate and have dodged Old Man Winter’s snow and ice but we all know that we won’t be lucky forever. That is why the Nebraska Department of Roads is ready for the winter season but they also want motorists to be prepared too. Operations/Maintenance District Manager Dale Butler says when you see snow removal equipment, snowplows, trucks or road graders, slow down and keep your distance.
Snow plows and trucks often are spreading salt or sand and a chunk could hit your windshield. There is also the chance of a chunk of snow being thrown into a driver’s path and that could be hard to avoid. Watch for the snow plow flashing amber and blue lights on the back and keep 100 feet away from the rear of the truck.
Butler says they also have new equipment in battling snowy roads. This year road crews will be using a tow plow. This is a truck that pulls a trailer behind it and can plow two lanes. Butler says that means fewer trucks will be needed and that will save on the department’s fuel bill.
The Nebraska Department of Roads also reminds drivers not to pass on the right side of a snow plow and stay where the operator can see you.
Motorists may use studded snow tires in Nebraska from November 1st through April 1st.
For 24-hour-a-day, year-round Nebraska traveler information, dial 5-1-1. That service provides motorists current information about weather conditions, road conditions and travel advisories.
The Department also wants drivers to be familiar with weather terminology.
Winter Storm Watch – a winter storm is possible or approaching.
Winter Storm Warning – a winter storm is imminent.
Snow Advisory – one to five inches of snow expected.
Blowing and Drifting Snow Advisory – visibility can be at or below a quarter of a mile.
Wind Chill Advisory – Wind chills of -30 to 35 is expected.
Freezing Rain / Sleet Advisory – An accumulation of freezing rain or sleet could make exposed surfaces dangerous or cause damage.