While a bit earlier than usual, parts of North Dakota are expecting significant snow, according to the National Weather Service. There is a possibility travel could be impacted by this storm and the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) is reminding motorists to check road conditions prior to traveling as the Travel Information Map and ND Roads app will be updated to reflect travel impacts.
The NDDOT provides multiple ways to get road condition information:
• NDRoads smartphone app
• Web-based Travel Information Map at dot.nd.gov.
• Email and text alerts through GovDelivery service. Select “Message Center” to receive important alerts including Travel Advisories and Road Closures.
• Call 511
The NDDOT crews work hard to keep travelers informed of road conditions working 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, even holidays. However, the road conditions are not reported 24 hours a day on the travel map and conditions can vary from what is being reported. Motorists can also see where some of NDDOT’s plows are working through the Track-A-Plow option on the travel map.
For the safety of the traveling public, the NDDOT issues travel warnings on state/US highways and interstates. These warnings should be taken seriously. There are three categories you should familiarize yourself with:
1. Travel Alert – Motorists can still travel but may encounter areas of challenging winter weather driving conditions on roadways.
2. No Travel Advisory – Motorists should NOT TRAVEL due to hazardous conditions which make it unsafe to travel.
3. Road Closed or Blocked – Motorists are not allowed to travel on closed roads due to life threatening conditions.
Motorists should keep in mind, winter driving conditions can exist even when there is no type of travel warning issued. If you should find yourself driving in snow or ice, follow these tips while behind the wheel:
• Slow down and drive according to the conditions.
• Never use cruise control on wet or icy roadways.
• Keep a safe distance from snow plows and other vehicles.
• Turn on your headlights. Remove snow from your vehicle that could cover your tail lights.
Again, be prepared for winter travel. To learn more about winter driving safety or road condition information please visit www.dot.nd.gov.