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Our Opinion: When the weather outside is frightful

Winter weather presents an additional series of challenges for Missouri motorists.

In anticipation of potential snowfall in Mid-Missouri, area road crews from the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) on Wednesday’s discussed preparations for a possible storm.

In addition, the agency issued a statewide news release outlining resources available for motorists to check road conditions and recommendations for driving in inclement weather.

MoDOT’s Traveler Information Map, www.modot.org, lists up-to-date conditions for interstates and major highways in the state. Conditions are color coded for ease of use.

Smartphone and tablet users will find the same information available on the Traveler Information App, available for free from the iPhone and Android app stores by searching for “MoDOT.”

The agency also provides road conditions by calling the Customer Service Center at 888-ASK-MODOT (888-275-6636). The center is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Those resources may help motorists steer clear of the worst conditions, but for those who must travel, MoDOT advises:

• Slow down.

• Steer and brake gently.

• Accelerate slowly at intersections.

• Allow extra space 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.

• Allow extra travel time.

Another seasonal challenge facing motorists is described in the Viewpoint below. When snowy and icy road conditions conspire with higher traffic volumes and increased stress, practicing patience and courtesy becomes paramount.

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