2020 exits with icy goodbye

The potential for a widespread winter storm could bring hazardous road conditions at the peak of New Year’s celebrations. A complex weather system is expected to spread freezing rain and ice across much of Missouri beginning late Thursday night and continuing into Friday. The storm could also include 30 mph wind gusts in some areas and snow in the northern portions of Missouri. These conditions could make travel treacherous for those attending or returning from New Year’s Eve celebrations and on New Year’s Day.

The Missouri Department of Transportation urges drivers to slow down and plan extra time if you must be out or be prepared to stay at your travel destination if roads become dangerous.

MoDOT crews will be treating ahead of the storm when beneficial, but with the potential of liquid precipitation preceding and following the ice, salt and chemicals could be washed from the road’s surface before they could be effective.

Drivers should use extreme caution overnight New Year’s Eve into New Year’s Day as road conditions could deteriorate rapidly wherever freezing precipitation is falling. It only takes a little bit of ice to create slippery roads. If you are involved in a crash or slide-off the road, the safest thing to do is to stay inside your vehicle and wait for help to arrive.

If your holiday plans involve alcohol, make sure you have a safe and sober ride pre-arranged for the drive home. Designate a driver, call a ride share or make arrangement to stay at your party destination.

There were 51 people killed and 261 seriously injured in Missouri traffic crashes between December 10, 2019 and January 1, 2020.  Twelve of the fatalities and 40 of the serious injuries involved a substance-impaired driver.

Keep informed of rapidly changing weather conditions and prepare to respond accordingly. Check road conditions where you are, along your route and at your destination by going to MoDOT’s Traveler Information Map at traveler.modot.org. The map can also be downloaded as a free app for Apple and Android devices.

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