SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- (02/21/2018) While you're at home debating whether or not it's safe to hit the streets during that winter weather, road crews are already hard at work helping to make your commute a little safer.
It's estimated that over 1,300 Americans are killed every year on the roadways due to wintry conditions. That's why MoDOT is dedicated to working around the clock during inclement weather.
"Our crews are out ahead of the storm watching it, they try to communicate with each other around the state, and try to get information from the weather service. Our folks are out there ahead of the storm, they stay throughout the storm until it's cleaned up, altogether we shift our folks on 12 hour shifts whenever we have the storm so daytime and nighttime," said Travis Koestner, the District Engineer of the MoDOT Southwest District.
From salting icy pavements to clearing snow off the streets, MoDOT dispatches over 300 trucks throughout the district, helping to reduce accidents and crashes by 80%.
However, when taking on the roadways, especially during extremely cold temperatures, MoDOT urges caution.
"Heavy volume roads, they're going to get the treatments first and then the secondary roads. Folks just need to understand that temperature changes, those chemicals don't just act the same, they're pretty good for temperatures above 20 degrees," said Koestner.
However, while MoDOT is doing their part to keep drivers safe, they say it's largely up to those behind the wheel to make sure they get to their destination safely.
"Plan your trip before you go, take a look. Put your seatbelts on, put your phone down and drive for the conditions," said Koestner.
To see how winter weather is affecting streets near you, MoDOT encourages drivers to access their Traveler Information Map in order to safely plan and prepare.