AMES, Iowa – Nov. 24, 2010 – According to the Iowa Department of Transportation’s (DOT) meteorology service, a low-pressure system will be moving into Iowa today, with southerly winds bringing moisture and an increasing chance of precipitation to much of the state. A wintery mix of freezing rain, freezing drizzle, snow and sleet will be possible across the north and central parts of the state by late morning and continuing through the day. This means ice accumulations are possible in the north-central and northeast by this evening. Gusty northwest winds and temperatures well below freezing are expected for most of the state tonight.
With the increase in travelers on the road today and Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday, motorists are reminded to Curb it-Click it. Drivers should give their full attention to the driving task and minimize distractions. And buckle up – everyone, every time and every trip.
Text messaging while driving is a dangerous habit. Drivers who engage in texting spend about 400 percent more time taking their eyes off the road and are 70 percent less likely to stay in their lane. If you need to make a call, text a family member or friend, or check on travel conditions, find a safe place off the traveled portion of the roadway to do so.
Seat belts are the single most protective safety device ever invented for use in vehicles, saving thousands of lives each year in the United States. This year alone, 157 people escaped serious injury or death in Iowa because they were buckled up at the time of a motor vehicle crash.
“We want everyone to have a safe and happy holiday travel season,” said Iowa DOT spokesperson Dena Gray-Fisher. “For the sake of your loved ones and everyone else on the road, please remember to buckle up and put your cell phone away when you get behind the wheel.”
The Iowa DOT is also offering two helpful travel tools to assist motorists prepare for their trips and stay informed about roadway conditions en route.
· www.511ia.org or call 511 – 511 is a travel information system accessible online or by telephone. Information offered includes road or lane closures, detours and winter road conditions.
· http://weatherview.iowadot.gov/ - Weatherview is an online tool that offers air temperature, roadway temperature, dew point temperature, bridge temperature, wind speed, wind direction, wind gust, visibility and travel speed information. Details are provided through the state’s road weather information system with sensors located in and along Iowa’s interstate and primary roads; and the automated weather observing system with sensors located at airports across the state.
For more information, contact: Dena Gray-Fisher, 515-239-1922 or firstname.lastname@example.org