Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Feb. 2, 2009
VDOT ADVISES CAUTION DURING TRAVEL OVERNIGHT
Freezing conditions possible in northern, western counties, crews will monitor conditions
CULPEPER – Snow is falling across Central Virginia and, although accumulations are forecast to be minimal, motorists should be alert for possible freezing conditions during their travels overnight Monday and on Tuesday morning. Roads are mostly wet at this hour though some patches of light snow are reported on the roads in the western counties near the mountains.
Crews from the Virginia Department of Transportation will monitor road conditions overnight Monday due to the possibility of localized freezing and slick road surfaces. Freezing conditions are most likely to occur in the western parts of Central Virginia and at higher elevations.
Motorists who must travel overnight should be aware of the possibility of freezing conditions and black ice during the early morning hours, particularly on bridges and overpasses, entrance and exit ramps and crossovers as well as roads at higher elevations.
VDOT crews are patrolling the region’s roads checking for freezing conditions, especially near the Blue Ridge Mountains and on the mountain passes – Interstate 64 and Route 250 in Albemarle County, Route 33 in Greene County, Routes 211 and 522 in Rappahannock and I-66 and Route 50 in Fauquier County. Should conditions warrant the snowplows will treat bridges, mountain passes and other freeze-prone areas with a mix of sand and salt to improve traction and prevent sleet and freezing rain from sticking to the pavement.
VDOT offers the following tips for driving in winter weather:
- Before you begin your trip, know the current road conditions and weather forecasts. Call 511 or visit
- Make sure your windows, mirrors and lights are clear of ice and snow.
- Always wear your seat belt.
- Allow extra time to travel to your destination.
- Be aware of potentially icy areas such as bridges, overpasses and shady spots. Also, if there is heavy snow, ice or high winds, be alert to potential driving hazards including downed branches, trees and electric lines.
- Reduce speed as appropriate and keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles and snowplows.
- Do not pass a snowplow unless it is absolutely necessary. Remember, the plow is clearing a path for you.
- Keep an emergency winter driving kit in your car. The kit should include a small bag of rock salt, sand or cat litter to provide traction in case you get stuck, a snowbrush and ice scraper, a flashlight, battery booster cables, a blanket and extra clothing.
- Practice common sense. Remember that your car cannot start, stop, or turn as quickly and surely on snow or ice as it does on dry pavement, so think and drive accordingly.
Information about preparing for winter weather and other emergencies can be found at www.ReadyVirginia.gov. The National Weather Service, Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Virginia Department of Social Services and other state agencies have created the Ready Virginia resource to provide residents with a one-stop shop for emergency preparedness tips and information.
Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.