A Division Of The
Department of Public Safety
Public Information and Education Division - PO Box 568 - Jefferson City, MO 65102

For further information, please contact: Capt. John J. Hotz
(573) 526-6115
January 8, 2024

EMPHASIS: Be Extra Vigilant When Driving In Inclement Weather

Missouri’s weather forecast indicates snow and snow showers are expected. For part of the state, this could be the first snow of the season. Whether it’s a dusting or several inches, it can affect travel. Be sure to increase your following distance as you drive; stopping quickly on wet, snowy, or icy roads can be hazardous or impossible. Be aware that elevated roadways such as bridges and ramps may freeze faster, and a roadway that appears wet could be icy. Leaving at least five seconds between your vehicle and the one in front of you is always a smart idea, especially in inclement weather. During 2022 there were 51 people killed and 1,969 people injured in more than 7,500 crashes with weather conditions of snow, sleet/hail, or freezing.

Troopers with the Missouri State Highway Patrol urge everyone to pay attention to weather conditions and make smart decisions regarding travel. If conditions dictate, avoid driving on Missouri’s roadways. When you travel, make sure your vehicle is completely clean of snow, use your headlights to increase visibility, and reduce your speed when the roadway appears wet or snow is present. Lower overnight temperatures may cause wet roadways to freeze and become slick. Remember: Missouri law states if you’re using your windshield wipers, your headlights must be turned on.

During inclement weather, driving the speed limit is not "exercising the highest degree of care." Missouri law (Section 304.012 RSMo) states the responsibility of exercising the highest degree of care while driving rests on the driver's shoulders. Please adjust your speed to the weather. Do not use cruise control and increase your following distance. Allow extra driving time for you to reach your destination at a slow, safe speed.

Troopers suggest keeping your fuel tank at least half full. In preparation for winter weather, place an ice scraper, battery booster cables, blankets, extra coats, gloves, water, non-perishable food, first aid kit, flashlight, small shovel, and a bag of sand or cat litter in your trunk now, before an emergency occurs.

Before you travel, make sure your cell phone is fully charged and keep it with you. Do not use your cell phone when you are driving; park your vehicle well off the roadway or in a parking lot before placing a call. The Missouri State Highway Patrol emergency number is *55 on a cellular phone. This number rings at the nearest troop headquarters. Troopers are available to assist you.

Motorists are encouraged to check road conditions before driving to help determine if the trip can be completed safely. MoDOT’s Road Condition Map can be viewed at http://traveler.modot.org/map/. The MoDOT Traveler Information Map app can be downloaded free of charge to your smart devices. The Traveler Information Map reflects the most current road conditions and is utilized by communication officers to provide road conditions. Motorists are encouraged to download the Traveler Information Map or view the map online instead of contacting law enforcement to inquire about road conditions. Missouri State Highway Patrol communication officers are very busy during winter weather events.

Please remember to buckle up, pay attention, be courteous, and obey all traffic laws. When weather conditions make driving hazardous, drive only when absolutely necessary.

Follow the Missouri State Highway Patrol on X @MSHPTrooperGHQ