Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
CULP 2009-021

Feb. 18, 2009

Motorists should allow extra time, reduce speed

CULPEPER – A mix of snow and sleet is falling across Central Virginia and, although accumulations are forecast to be minimal, motorists should be alert for slick roads if they are traveling on Wednesday 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 reported to work early this morning in advance of the forecast snow, which is expected to change to freezing rain later this morning before changing again to rain later in the day.

Motorists who must travel Wednesday morning should be aware of the possibility of freezing conditions and black ice, 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 interstate and primary highways and applying sand and salt when needed to improve traction and prevent freezing rain from bonding to the pavement. The crews will continue working through the morning. By Wednesday afternoon the precipitation is forecast to change to rain; that combined with rising temperatures should melt any ice and snow that has fallen.

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 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.

Page last modified: Oct. 17, 2012