CHICAGO (CBS) — Icy roads and blowing snow created a big mess of many Chicago area roads this morning, making for a very rough morning for many commuters.

Most arterial streets were in pretty good shape Tuesday morning, after more than 3 inches of snow fell in Chicago overnight. Side streets were a different story, as some motorists discovered the hard way.

Joe Alejandro was walking through the snow and frigid air Tuesday morning, but it wasn’t by choice. His PT Cruiser spun out while he was headed to work, doing a complete 180 and ending up in a ditch.

“I was just driving up, and it just started sliding,” he said.

The Orland Hills man tried his best to drive out of the ditch, but soon realized it was a job for a tow truck. Police showed up to try to help, but couldn’t do much.

Alejandro said he didn’t believe he was driving too fast, and couldn’t explain why his car left the road.

Part of what made conditions so treacherous Tuesday morning was ice covered by wind-whipped snow.

Compared to the last significant winter storm, which dropped a couple inches of heavy sleet and ice on Chicago, a few inches of light fluffy snow was a piece of cake for people shoveling their driveways and sidewalks, but it still meant a very early start for plow drivers.

“The hardest part is to wake up very early, and get here, and get it done,” plow driver Ambrosio Martinez said as he was clearing a 20-acre auto mall in Matteson.

On top of the moderate snowfall overnight, temperatures in Chicago were in the single digits for the second day in a row, after dropping as low as 5 degrees Tuesday at O’Hare around 8 a.m. Monday reached a low of -1 at O’Hare.

Tuesday’s temperatures were expected to reach a high in the low teens, before hitting single digits again overnight. Wednesday will see highs in the low 20s by day’s end, and then Thursday will bring a winter thaw, with a high near 40.