The Department of Transportation is urging drivers to drive safe and take it slow on the roads this evening for New Year’s Eve and into the New Year’s Day holiday.

modotmapSpokeswoman Beth Wright says staying indoors tonight is ideal, and to only travel if it’s absolutely necessary. Between the hours of 11 p.m. and 3 a.m., she says we’re expecting freezing rain in some parts of the state.

“So if you believe you must be out, and please slow down and allow plenty of distance between you and the vehicle ahead,” she says. “And to always remember that bridges and overpasses ice first so you may drive on a road that the bridges and overpasses may ice more quickly.”

She says beginning last night, several crews throughout the state have been activated to salt the roads in preparation for the winter weather so commutes can be safer for drivers.

Click here to see the latest Traveler Information Map.

“Snow, freezing rain and drizzle are expected to affect road conditions overnight and into tomorrow,” said Dave Nichols, MoDOT’s chief engineer. “Travelers need to be very cautious this New Year’s Eve, even if routes don’t appeared snow covered.” 

Snow accumulation is expected to hit one to three inches across the state, and MoDOT will be treating and plowing roads throughout the day and night, MoDOT says in a press release. The department focuses first on roads with the highest traffic volumes, such as interstates, U.S. highways, and other high volume state routes. MoDOT will plow loose snow and treat the hills, curves, and intersections of lower volume lettered or numbered routes as needed.

Motorists should use caution and check road conditions before they travel. Even a light snowfall can cause roads to become slick, especially when combined with freezing precipitation.

Remember the following tips when driving in inclement weather:
·        Slow down.
·        Steer and brake gently.
·        Accelerate slowly at intersections.
·        Allow plenty of distance between your vehicle and the one ahead of you.
·        Stay back 100 feet from snow plows that may be spreading salt. Avoid passing snow plows, even when on a multi-lane road.
·        Be aware that bridges and overpasses generally experience freezing conditions first.

For smartphone and tablet users, the recently upgraded Traveler Information App brings the same information to mobile devices. The app is available for free from the iPhone and Android app stores by searching for “MoDOT.”

MoDOT also provides road conditions information through its Customer Service Center. Dial 888-ASK-MODOT (888-275-6636) to speak to a customer service representative. They are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.