Before you even hit the road, Tod Pritchard with Wisconsin Emergency Management suggests visiting the state Department of Transportation website for road conditions — 511wi.gov — or simply call 511.
“Their site is so great because it gives you the latest road conditions so you know what you’re getting into before you even head out on the road.” Pritchard also offers a few tips, “When you first get out on the road, use your accelerator and brake gently and kind of see how the road conditions are, clear out your frost and the snow off your windows and mirrors — that kind of common sense sort of stuff, but also flip on your head lights.”
Emergency officials hope to save holiday travelers from heartache, headache, and potential dangers. Pritchard suggests being prepared with emergency supplies, just in case. “Having an emergency winter kit on board your car is still a great idea; having extra blankets and a cell phone adapter, flash light, pocket knife, candles, matches, those kinds of things.”
Be sure to have plenty of gas in your tank in case you’re stuck in traffic, or in case you’re stranded somewhere and need to keep warm. Pritchard says snacks are good to have on hand to help alleviate stress or tide you over until that big meal, and power bars could come in handy if you get stranded.
Pritchard says drivers can avoid unnecessary stress by allowing extra time for complications, heavy traffic, or bad weather conditions. And, he says make sure someone knows your planned destination and route, obey traffic laws, wear a seat belt, stay attentive, drive sober, and take a break if you’re tired.