GREAT FALLS — With snow and ice covering some roads - and snow still falling in many areas and expected to continue into Thursday - driving in Montana is hazardous today.
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There have been numerous slide-offs and minor crashes reported across the region.
Check the Montana Department of Transportation website before you hit the road to find out which roads are snow-covered, which ones have ice and/or slush, and if any roads are closed.
Keeping an emergency kit in your vehicle is important - recommended items include:
- Jumper cables
- Flares or reflective triangle
- Ice scraper
- Car cell phone charger
- Cat litter or sand (for better tire traction)
MDT provides the following safety information:
- Allow extra time to get to your destination.
- Clean off your car. Keep windows, mirrors and lights clear of snow and ice.
- Turn off cruise control.
- Always buckle up.
- Slow down in poor visibility conditions.
- Maintain a safe distance behind other vehicles.
- Expect ice on bridges and in shady spots.
- Don't pass snowplows unless it's absolutely necessary.
- Prepare your vehicle for winter driving at the start of the season.
- Check to be sure all four tires are in good condition.
- Don't wait until the last minute to get snow tires mounted.
- Keep an emergency travel kit in your car.
When you encounter a snowplow:
- Don’t crowd the plow.
- Plow drivers have limited visibility so don’t assume your vehicle is in view.
- Maintain a safe distance behind the snowplow.
- Plows aren't just removing snow. They may also be spreading sand or deicer on the road.
- Be patient—never pass through a white out.
- The driver will pull over when it is safe to do so to allow vehicles to pass.
- Slow down.
Plows are large and move slower than highway speeds. It is difficult to judge distance when approaching the plow so slow down immediately to avoid a collision.