Checking Road Conditions Ahead of Commutes

We saw the full gamut of bad weather here in Fond du Lac over the weekend. From rain to snow and roads getting a bit slick – things were a little ugly for drivers. State Patrol Sergeant Luke Newman says at this time of year, it’s a good idea to check the weather before leaving the house. 

Newman tells us “it’s not just ‘oh I’m going to be traveling across the state’ or anything, it’s just getting up to go to work the next day. And that’s probably 90-percent of the time we’re driving is going to work – get up so you know like ‘oh I’ve got to get up ten minutes earlier because my car is parked outside, I’ve got to brush all of the snow off my car, it’s going to be slow going, I don’t know what’s going to be plowed, what’s not’ – that kind of junk, so you can plan ahead.”

The state patrol is also keeping an eye out for crashes on area highways – and reminds people to slow down and drive safely. Inspector Scott Linek echoes Newman’s call to know what the conditions look like ahead of time. 

Linek says “you should probably generally know what the weather is going to be like tomorrow. I mean, they for the most part have it down to a science, they can get it to 24 hours exact. So maybe the night before check if it’s going to be snow, foggy – plan ahead so you can give yourself some extra time to get to work, or if you’re traveling for that day you know what they weather is going to be like when you get there.”

Newman spends a lot of time on the roads, and says the fluctuation of temperatures around the freezing mark as precipitation comes down is not a great mix for driving. 

He points out that “freezing rain is probably worse than snow because it’s deceiving – the road looks a little wet, but it’s actually really icy and once you start sliding you get stuck sliding.”

It’s advised to have an kit in your car with spare blankets, gloves, and other amenities to stay warm in the case you do end up in the ditch. Cat litter or sand could also be helpful for gaining traction after sliding on ice.