(MADISON, WI.)–As of Wednesday, November 15, current winter road conditions are visible on the mobile-friendly 511 Wisconsin website (https://511wi.gov) and mobile app. This information is populated by frequent reporting from the Wisconsin State Patrol and enhanced by updates from additional highway staff in-the-field. On the website’s map of Wisconsin, interstates and select state roadways have corresponding colors to represent conditions. They are (listed from best to worst) good winter driving, slippery stretches, snow covered, ice covered, and travel not advised. No information will also be represented when data is not available for that segment of road. As the State of Wisconsin continues to recognize National Traffic Incident Response Week (November 13 – 19), drivers are asked to plan ahead to avoid the most hazardous routes if possible. Wisconsin has been seeing an average of more than 200 crashes annually involving at least one emergency vehicle that’s engaged in an emergency response. Emergency responders, including law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs, tow truck operators and highway maintenance crews, are especially vulnerable during heavy volumes of traffic amid winter weather conditions. In the last five years, Wisconsin has averaged 18,600 motor vehicle crashes during the winter months when roads are covered with ice, snow or slush. On average, 48 people are killed and more than 4,600 injured in Wisconsin each winter season in crashes when roads are covered in ice, snow and slush. Safe driving is everyone’s job.
- Slow down and move over when passing by an incident scene to provide a protective buffer for responders and the motorists behind you.
- If you can steer it, clear it. Many drivers think they should not move their car if they are involved in a fender-bender or crash. If (and only if) your car is drivable and there are no injuries, you should move your car to the shoulder or nearby safe place off of the road before calling for help.
- Visit http://wisconsindot.gov/staysafe to learn more about safe driving tips, links to best practices for winter road safety, and the law.
- Never access 511 information while driving. Either safely pull off of the highway, or have a passenger check it.
The winter road conditions have been active already in select areas that had snowfall. Later this week an additional segment will begin having reports: WIS 441 in the Appleton area from I-41 to US 10. The winter road conditions feature is anticipated to run until April 2018.