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‘Snow squalls,' whiteout conditions expected across Indiana

‘Snow squalls,' whiteout conditions expected across Indiana
Posted at 10:54 AM, Dec 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-29 13:01:58-05

Isolated snowstorms combined with gusty winds are expected to hit much of Indiana Thursday afternoon into Friday morning, according to the Indiana Department of Transportation and National Weather Service.

Called “snow squalls,” these weather conditions can reduce visibility in minutes and increase the chances of multi-vehicle crashes.

Drivers should expect these conditions beginning 3 p.m. Thursday until 10 a.m. Friday along with slick roads and blowing snow.

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Snow squalls can strike in a matter of minutes: 

If you happen to get caught in a snow squall or whiteout conditions, INDOT recommends the following tips to keep safe.

  • Slow down - Take your foot off the gas before hitting the "wall" of snow and gradually reduce our speed to what is suitable for the conditions. Not only will visibility be reduced, you will need more time and distance to stop or turn.
  • Be smooth - Make steering and braking smooth and gentle to maximize your tires’ grip. Sudden steering or braking will quickly overcome that grip and the loss of traction can result in a spin or slide.
  • See and be seen - If you can’t see others, they can’t see you. Turn on all of your vehicles exterior lights, including four-way flashers, to give other drivers a better chance of seeing you. Many cars have automatic lighting systems and drivers may forget about the extra lights designed for emergencies and moments of low visibility.
  • Check the front and rear - Be aware of not only the vehicle in front but the one behind. Increase the distance from the vehicle in front as you will need more room to stop if it does. Monitor the proximity of vehicles to your rear.
  • Scan right - Continually scan the side of the road to your right, both to know where it is on the road and to avoid vehicles that have pulled off.
  • Stop if conditions get too bad - Find a place to exit off interstates or high-speed highways. If you must pull onto the shoulder, pull as far away from traffic as is safely possible.
  • Stay buckled - If you become stuck or stranded, stay buckled in your car, turn your four-way flashers on, open your window slightly and run the engine occasionally to stay warm until the storm passes.