i-80

Here's the scene of the I-80 crash near Northwest Boulevard. (Photo courtesy of the IDOT traffic cam.)

• Don't crowd the plow. Remember, a snowplow operator's field of vision is restricted. You may see them, but they may not see you.

• Watch out for black ice roads that appear clear may be treacherous. Take it slow when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges, and shady areas all are prone to black ice.

• Always keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to prevent the vehicle’s fuel line from freezing.

• Dress warmly for the weather. Dress in layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in anticipation of unexpected winter weather emergencies.

• Make sure someone is aware of your travel route.

• Use a light touch on the gas, to ease your car out.

Correcting a skid; If your rear wheels skid

• Take your foot off the accelerator.

• Steer in the direction you want the front wheels to go. If your rear wheels are sliding left, steer left. If they're sliding right, steer right.

• If your rear wheels start sliding the other way as you recover, ease the steering wheel toward that side. You might have to steer left and right a few times to get your vehicle completely under control.

• If you have standard brakes, pump them gently.

•  If you have anti-lock brakes (ABS), do not pump the brakes. Apply steady pressure to the brakes.

If your front wheels skid

• Take your foot off the gas; don't try to steer immediately.

• As the wheels skid sideways, they will slow the vehicle and traction will return. As it does, steer in the direction you want to go, then accelerate gently.

If you get stuck

• Do not spin your wheels. This will only dig you in deeper.

• Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to push snow out of the way.

• Use a light touch on the gas, to ease your car out.

• Use a shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and the underside of the car.

• Pour sand, kitty litter, gravel or salt in the path of the wheels, to help get traction.

• Try rocking the vehicle. (Check your owner's manual first -- it can damage the transmission on some vehicles.) Shift from forward to reverse, and back again. Each time you're in gear, give a light touch on the gas until the vehicle gets going.

Sources: National Safety Council, New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, Washington State Government Information & Services.

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