MDOT urges drivers to take it slow when there's ice and snow

Contact: John Richard, MDOT Office of Communications, 616-262-1565
Agency: Transportation

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- As the forecast calls for the first significant snowfall of the year in west Michigan, and with the Thanksgiving holiday just two weeks away, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) wants to remind drivers to slow down and be cautious on wintry roadways.

While road agencies work to keep our highways safe in the winter, drivers must take responsibility for getting to their destinations safely.

"The number one safety feature in any vehicle is the driver," said Grand Region Operations Engineer Tom Tellier. "We have plows, salt, sand, and drivers at the ready, but we need motorists to do their part and drive safely at all times."

In addition to the 330 plow trucks MDOT operates, it contracts with 63 counties to maintain state highways, bringing the total number of plows closer to 1,300 statewide. While MDOT relies on direct forces to plow about 25 percent of its state roads, the other 75 percent are plowed by county forces paid by the state for their services.

MDOT and the Michigan State Police (MSP) have collected a wealth of resources to help drivers prepare to meet winter safely:

  • MSP's Office of Highway Safety Planning has launched a website (www.Michigan.gov/WinterDriving) packed with tips and useful resources. Drivers can find timely advice on planning a safe route, how to control their vehicle, what to do in an emergency, passenger safety, tire tips, and more.
  • MDOT's Mi Drive website is a useful online tool to help you get to your destination safely. By going to www.Michigan.gov/Drive, motorists get access to hundreds of cameras showing state highway conditions in real time, as well as road backups or closures due to weather, crashes or other incidents.
  • The agencies have partnered to produce a video with information on how roads are maintained each winter and the actions motorists should take now to be prepared for inclement driving conditions.