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MoDOT urges drivers to be careful on roads this weekend

5 on Your Side meteorologists predict snow to accumulate for the entire viewing area Friday night until early Saturday afternoon.

MISSOURI, USA — Much of the state of Missouri will be dealing with accumulating over the weekend.  As a result, the Missouri Department of Transportation is urging people to avoid travel if possible.

According to the 5 On Your Side weather team, snowfall is expected to start Friday evening into early Saturday afternoon.

“The forecast is calling for a wet, heavy snow accumulating on roads throughout the day Saturday,” said Natalie Roark, MoDOT state maintenance director. “The heavier the snow, the more difficult it is to clear. Motorists should be prepared for delays or - if possible - should stay off the roads during periods of heavy snowfall to give our crews a chance to work.”

FORECAST: Here are the predicted snow totals for Friday night until noon Saturday

In a news release, the department of transportation said crews will be out across the state working 12-hour shifts, but staffing is still short due to turnover and sickness. 

“It may take crews longer to return roads to a mostly clear status after the storm ends Saturday,” Roark said.

If you must travel Friday night or Saturday use extra caution, anticipate slower travel times, and consult the Traveler Information Map for road conditions. You can also find road conditions and warnings by following MoDOT on Facebook and Twitter or by calling 888-ASK-MODOT (888-275-6636) to speak with a customer service representative 24/7. 

RELATED: Illinois Department of Transportation prepares for winter 2021-2022

Cold-weather driving tips:

  • Keep a bundle of cold-weather gear in your car, such as extra food and water, warm clothing, a flashlight, a glass scraper, blankets, medications, and more.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated and have plenty of tread.
  • Keep at least half a tank of fuel in your vehicle at all times.
  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface, such as on ice and snow.

Tips for driving in the snow:

  • Stay home. Only go out if necessary. Even if you can drive well in bad weather, it's better to avoid taking unnecessary risks by venturing out.
  • Drive slowly. Always adjust your speed down to account for lower traction when driving on snow or ice.
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Apply the gas slowly to regain traction and avoid skids. Don't try to get moving in a hurry and take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
  • Increase your following distance to five to six seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
  • Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
  • Don't stop if you can avoid it. There's a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
  • Don't power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads will just make your wheels spin. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill slowly.
  • Don't stop going up a hill. There's nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.