Know Before You Go – Road Conditions
Frequent updates provide critical safety information on more than 14,000 miles of roadway.
Winter is here with the first accumulating snow across Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) encourages drivers to visit 511wi.gov to view the expanded and improved winter road conditions layer on Wisconsin roadways.
“Weather in Wisconsin means driving conditions can change in an instant,” WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson said. “Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and get their vehicle ready for winter driving. Our free, easy-to-use 511 Wisconsin system can provide the clearest and most accurate travel information to prepare for the road ahead.”
WisDOT leveraged technology in January 2022 to share winter road conditions for more than 14,000 miles of roadway, which is updated at least twice hourly, 24 hours a day. In addition to the winter road conditions, travelers are encouraged to check live traffic cameras along their route. Both the winter road condition reporting and camera system have been significantly upgraded in the past year.
How to use the winter road condition system:
- Visit 511wi.gov online, or download the 511 Wisconsin smartphone app
- In the map legend, make sure “winter road conditions” is checked
- Look for the colors outlining the roadways near you
- The colors are listed from best to worst: good winter driving (green), slippery stretches (purple), snow covered (blue), ice covered (red), and travel not advised (black).
How to view live traffic cameras:
- Visit 511wi.gov online or download the 511 Wisconsin smartphone app.
- In the top right corner under the Map Legend and 511 layers box, click the “cameras” checkbox.
- Look for the camera icons along your route.
- On 511wi.gov, click the camera icon and look for “show video” button to view the live camera feed.
- On the 511 Wisconsin smartphone app, press the “play” button in the bottom right corner.
WisDOT also reminds drivers to buckle up, phone down – every trip, every time. Always expect the unexpected when driving in a Wisconsin winter. In the event of a storm, try to refrain completely from travel in order to give winter maintenance crews room to work. Other helpful reminders include:
- Move Over/slow down when passing by an incident scene to provide a protective buffer for responders and the motorists behind you.
- If you can “Steer It, Clear It.” Many drivers think they should not move their car if they are involved in a fender bender or crash. If (and only if) your car is drivable and there are no injuries, you should move your car to the shoulder or nearby safe place off of the road before calling 911.
Visit wisconsindot.gov/staysafe to learn about safe driving tips and best practices for winter road safety.