The Polar Vortex has returned, leaving its snowy mark on Louisiana. State Police have stressed the importance of driving safely to residents who are not accustomed to the atypical snow and ice and may not know how to properly drive during those weather conditions.

Areas in Louisiana affected by the cold snap or polar vortex, such as bridges and overpasses, are being salted and sanded by Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development trucks, said the organization.

The Louisiana State Police added that their official Facebook page should be considered a resource for Louisiana drivers. It contains real-time updates on road closures, crashes and other important safety information.

Additionally, they recommended that Louisiana residents enroll in the free Nixle Alerts service, which will automatically alert them to rough road conditions.

More winter weather driving tips from the police:

  • Check vehicle fluids (anti-freeze), tire pressure, battery windshield wipers, etc.
  • Reduce your speed
  • Allow extra time to reach your destination
  • Allow extra space between vehicles
  • Refrain from using cruise control in icy conditions
  • Anticipate stops (such as stop signs and traffic signals) and brake gently while stopping
  • If you encounter a skid, do not panic, take your foot off the accelerator, and steer into the skid until you regain control
  • Use low beam headlights if it is raining/sleeting
  • Ensure all vehicle occupants are properly restrained

For drivers who encounter problems with their vehicles while on the road, police suggested staying in the vehicle, but making sure to pack a survival kit that includes an emergency first aid kit, blankets, jumper cables, high-energy or dehydrated foods, flashlight with extra batteries, extra (charged) cell phone battery, emergency flares and bottled water.

If you experience difficulties or witness hazardous situations while on the highway, the local State Police Troop office said a local unit can be reached by dialing *LSP (or *577) from your cell phone, or contact your local law enforcement agency.