Montana road conditions + winter driving safety

MDT Road Conditions (Sunday, October 23, 2022)
Posted at 12:52 PM, Oct 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-23 15:12:14-04

With the first major snowfall of the season, roads across many parts of Montana are becoming more treacherous. There have been numerous slide-offs and minor crashes since the snow began falling on Saturday.

Blackfeet Law Enforcement Services provided the following information at 12:50 p.m. on Sunday:

  • Hwy 89 South - Blowing and drifting snow, icy roads
  • Badger Creek Rd - snow packed and icy, blowing and drifting snow
  • Joe Show West - snow packed and icy, blowing and drifting snow
We are asking the public to please stay off of the roads. Emergency personnel are responding to multiple vehicles that are stuck in different areas.
Blackfeet Roads (October 23, 2022)

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.

Behind this storm system, very cold air will move in as low temperatures fall into the 10s and 20s Sunday night and Monday morning. Wind gusts as high as 60 MPH are possible for the Rocky Mountain Front, up to 45 MPH throughout the rest of central Montana. The weather turns active again, especially at higher elevations, during the middle of the week with another system bringing rain and snow showers to the region.

MDT provides the following safety information:

Winter Driving Checklist

  1. Allow extra time to get to your destination.
  2. Clean off your car. Keep windows, mirrors and lights clear of snow and ice.
  3. Turn off cruise control.
  4. Always buckle up.
  5. Slow down in poor visibility conditions.
  6. Maintain a safe distance behind other vehicles.
  7. Expect ice on bridges and in shady spots.
  8. Don't pass snowplows unless it's absolutely necessary.
  9. Prepare your vehicle for winter driving at the start of the season.
  10. Check to be sure all four tires are in good condition.
  11. Don't wait until the last minute to get snow tires mounted.
  12. Keep an emergency travel kit in your car.

Safety Around Snow Plows: Our snowplows are on the road for your safety. When you encounter a snowplow, remember:

  • 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.