INDOT Continues Fight Against Low Temps, High Winds and Snow

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WOWO): INDOT officials issued the following release in regards to their preparation for the next round of snow, headed for northern Indiana:

High winds are ushering in a storm system that will drop up a few inches of new snow in Indiana’s northern counties while maintaining sub-freezing temperatures. Indiana Department of Transportation maintenance supervisors are monitoring local forecasts and adjusting its call-out of yellow plow trucks to address changes in forecasted and observed road conditions.


With snow predicted to continue through the Thursday evening rush, drivers are encouraged to make room for INDOT’s yellow plow trucks so they can complete their routes. Roads clogged from crashes or rush-hour congestion prevent plow trucks from clearing and treating highways in a timely manner.


Trained INDOT employees are on call to staff plow trucks around the clock with alternating 12- to 16-hour shifts. For social media updates, find the INDOT Facebook and Twitter pages for your regional district at:


Low temperatures

With temperatures dipping well below freezing, road salt has to work harder to melt accumulated snow and ice. INDOT may mix road salt with sand or specialty chemicals that help it work more effectively in these conditions.


Sub-freezing temperatures increase the chances for “black ice” or “slick spots” that may be difficult for drivers to distinguish from dry pavement. Even four-wheel-drive vehicles and large trucks are no match if all tires are on ice. There are several steps that drivers can take to minimize the risk of losing control on icy roads:

  • Know before you go by checking the red-yellow-green traffic speeds on your mobile map app or

  • Choose direct routes instead of longer routes on higher-speed arterials.

  • Take your foot off the gas and slow down gradually, especially on high-speed highways.

  • Turn off cruise control.

  • Apply anti-lock brakes firmly when encountering ice. Pump brakes that are not anti-lock. Do not overcorrect with steering.


High winds cause blowing, drifting

Winds gusting up to 40 mph in some locations will reduce visibility for drivers. INDOT crews will take steps to minimize the amount of blowing snow that sticks or drifts onto cleared highways.


INDOT urges drivers to reschedule optional trips as road conditions will be the worst during these times. If you must venture out, below are some driving tips when visibility is reduced:

  • Before you depart, fully clear off your front and rear windshields and side mirrors.

  • Take your foot off the gas and slow down gradually, especially on high-speed highways. No one should be traveling at interstate speeds during these conditions.

  • Use your low-beam lamps if your vehicle is equipped.

  • Turn on emergency flashers if you are stopped or traveling slower than other vehicles.

  • Try to exit or turn off the main highway when stopping. If you must stop on the shoulders, pull as far away from the travel lanes as possible.

  • Fill your gas tank and charge your phone regularly.


New plow equipment

Drivers should watch for six new tow plows in use on multi-lane interstates, U.S. highways and state roads. Already used in northeast Indiana and 22 other states, a tow plow allows one plow truck and driver to clear two lanes at once.


INDOT is accepting delivery of six new tow plows and training staff for deployment on the four-lane state highways listed below. The equipment may be redeployed to other parts of the state as needed this winter. 

  • Interstate 74 between Indianapolis and Greensburg (2)

  • Interstate 469 and U.S. 24 northeast of Fort Wayne

  • U.S. 24 and State Road 25 Hoosier Heartland near Logansport

  • The new U.S. 31 freeway near Kokomo

  • U.S. 52 between Lafayette and Lebanon


Drivers should not attempt to pass a tow plow if all lanes are blocked, but stay a safe distance and speed behind the plows. Road conditions are always better behind a plow at work than in front.