The Rhode Island State Police warns motorists that travel is expected to become treacherous as rapidly dropping temperatures leads to icing on the roadways. Motorists are encouraged to avoid unnecessary travel or use extreme caution if they must be out on the roads. Anticipate hazardous driving conditions this afternoon and tonight, especially on bridges and ramps, which freeze more quickly than roads, as well as untreated roadways.

Additional troopers have been assigned throughout the state and will be working with the state Department of Transportation and other agencies to monitor travel conditions, especially on highways, bridges and areas prone to crashes during adverse conditions.

Allow extra time to get to your destination and allow extra room for plows, sanders and other road crews who are working to make the roadways safe for everyone.

Anyone heading out to watch the Patriots championship football game tonight should beware that a flash freeze is expected late this afternoon or early this evening, impacting travel before and after the game. Hazardous driving conditions are expected throughout Rhode Island and neighboring states. “We encourage everyone to stay home and off the roads if possible,” said Lt. Colonel Kevin M. Barry, Acting Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police. “We also want to remind people that consuming even small amounts of alcohol can impair a person’s judgment and ability to recognize and respond to hazardous conditions.”

The Rhode Island State Police offers the following driving safety tips and reminders:

* Don’t drive if you don’t have to. Wait for weather and road conditions to improve before heading out.

* Stay sober. Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs is illegal and poses a risk of death and injury to you and others on the road.

* Slow down. The weather conditions may require reduced speeds that are lower than the posted speed limits.

* Stay alert. Don’t use handheld devices while driving. Avoid distractions. Focus on the traffic and road conditions.

* Buckle up. If you are involved in a crash, seatbelts and approved child safety seats are the best protection for everyone.