STATE POLICE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY
With significant snowfall expected in parts of the state on Thursday, the Massachusetts State Police remind citizens of several basic strategies to stay safe in snowy weather. As always, if you need help on the roads or in your homes, call 911 immediately. Please remember the following tips throughout the storm in the coming days.
- Follow us on Social Media for Updates: Follow the Massachusetts State Police on Twitter & Facebook. We post road closures and traffic advisories on Twitter frequently, @MassStatePolice. In addition, you should also follow Trooper Dustin Fitch@DustinGFitch for informative updates. We also encourage you to follow our partners, Massachusetts Department of Transportation @MassDOT and Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency @MassEMA. State and some local agencies are also using the hashtag #MAsnow and #MAwx while posting weather related updates.
- Stay Informed: Any time there is a possibility of power outages, make sure your devices are fully charged and keep warm clothes in your vehicle in case you become stranded and have to wait for help. At home, keep fresh batteries in flashlights and have some bottled water and non-perishable food on hand. Please shovel snow from around fire hydrants and check on elderly or vulnerable neighbors.
- Take Note of the Local Forecast: The State Police encourage motorists to take note of local forecasts and plan accordingly for adverse weather conditions. Motorists are reminded that they can dial 511 on their cell phones for current traffic and road conditions on Massachusetts Highways. If you don’t have to be somewhere during the storm, please stay off the roads.
- Vehicle Preparation: If you do have to drive on Thursday, motorists should ensure that their vehicles are well maintained and properly equipped for winter driving. Motorists should check the fluid levels of their vehicles, particularly washer fluid and anti-freeze, to make sure that they are at adequate levels. Tires should be inspected to ensure that they are properly inflated and have sufficient tread depth. Motorists should equip their vehicles with a snow shovel, ice scraper, jumper cables, flares, a flashlight and some warm clothing and blankets. Additionally, motorists are reminded to completely clear their vehicles of snow and ice prior to driving, including all lights, for visibility. Clearing vehicles of snow and ice enhances the safety of all motorists by providing an unobstructed view to the operator and prevents snow and ice from flying off vehicles at high speeds and posing a hazard to others on the road. Motorists should also carry a charged cellular phone.
- Reduce Speed: Anticipate delays. Most snow- and ice-related crashes are caused by spin-outs and vehicles sliding off the road because they are traveling at speeds too great for the road and weather conditions. Posted speed limits are set for driving under optimal, dry conditions. If road and weather conditions are adverse, motorists should operate at a speed well below the posted limit. Troopers will enforce traffic laws for motorists driving at speeds greater than reasonable for the weather conditions.
- Leave Extra Space Between Vehicles: Under optimal driving conditions, motorists should leave at least one car length for every ten miles per hour between them and the vehicle in front of them. If the road and weather conditions are adverse, that distance should be significantly increased in order to afford for increased stopping distances. With the increased number of snow plows on the roads across the Commonwealth, please don’t “crowd the plow.” Give the plow operators plenty of space to do their job and clear the roads.
- Black Ice: Temperatures are expected to plummet after the storm. Transparent ice may form on the roadway. If you notice ice forming on any objects, assume that it is forming on the road surface as well. Bridges are usually the first surfaces to freeze. Drive slowly and, if possible, avoid driving on iced-over surfaces.
- Buckle Up: Ensuring everyone in your vehicle is properly restrained is the single most effective thing that motorists can do to keep themselves and their loved ones safe on the roads.
- Dial 911 in Roadway Emergencies: In any weather conditions, motorists who become disabled or encounter an emergency on the roadways should dial 911 on their cellular phones to immediately be connected to a public safety communications center. Motorists should always be aware of their location, noting the route they are traveling on and the number of the exit they most recently passed.