The patrol said it expects to deploy four-wheel drive vehicles during the storm.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is discouraging travel during this week’s hazardous weather conditions. Freezing rain followed by sleet, heavy snow, wind and bitterly cold temperatures will make driving treacherous and dangerous should you break down or slide off the road and become stranded, the agency said.

Troopers will be out in full force during the severe weather and driving conditions. All leave days have been canceled and troopers are working 12-hour shifts, some in four-wheel drive pickup trucks, to provide coverage. However, motorists need to be aware response times will be much longer than normal, especially on secondary roads. The patrol is working with the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to preposition manpower and resources throughout the state in preparation of the winter storm, which will enable the patrol to provide the best possible service.

Whether rain, sleet, ice or snow, drivers need to make adjustments when the weather changes, the patrol said. The patrol encourages motorists to plan ahead and drive safely or not at all during inclement weather. If they must drive in the inclement weather, drivers should plan extra time into their schedule to clean snow and ice completely from their vehicle. Make sure the windows are completely cleared to ensure visibility. Remember: Missouri law states if you’re using your windshield wipers, your headlights must be turned on.

It takes only a second to turn on your vehicle’s headlights. But, that second could make you more visible to other drivers and prevent a traffic crash.

A few tips from the patrol: Before traveling, gather an ice scraper, tire chains, battery booster cables, blankets, flashlight and a bag of sand to place in your vehicle’s trunk. Emergencies cannot be predicted, but planning for them can help you if one should arise. A fully charged cell phone is an additional asset when driving in hazardous weather conditions. Missouri’s Road Condition Report (800-222-6400) can help you plan your route before you leave. This number gives an automated listing of road conditions throughout the state. You may also view MoDOT’s Road Condition Map by going to the patrol’s website and clicking on the “Road Condition” icon. Drivers should also allow more time to reach their destination at a slow, safe speed.

If you are involved in a minor traffic crash, one of the first thoughts you might have is whether or not you should move your vehicle. The answer is yes. Ten years ago a state law took effect that requires vehicles involved in a minor, non-injury crashes to move off the traveled portion of the road. For every minute a vehicle stops on the highway and blocks one lane of traffic, it backs up approaching traffic for four minutes.

Section 304.151 RSMo. states, “Except in the case of an accident resulting in the injury or death of any person, the driver of a vehicle which for any reason obstructs the regular flow of traffic on the roadway of any state highway shall make every reasonable effort to move the vehicle or have it moved so as not to block the regular flow of traffic.

If you become stranded or see another vehicle stranded on the side of the road with passengers, please call the Missouri State Highway Patrol emergency number at 800-525-5555 or dial *55 on a cellular phone. These numbers ring at the nearest troop headquarters.



The patrol will work 12-hour shifts during the storm, itannounced on Monday.

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