Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
|CULP 2009-008 5 a.m.
Jan. 27, 2009
VDOT ADVISES MOTORISTS TO PLAN AHEAD FOR TRAVEL
Forecast winter storm could create hazardous road conditions Tuesday and Wednesday
CULPEPER – The Virginia Department of Transportation is advising motorists to be aware of weather and road conditions before they travel on Tuesday. A forecast winter storm is expected to bring snow to Central Virginia, followed by sleet and freezing rain, beginning Tuesday morning and continuing into Wednesday morning.
VDOT crews have been on duty since midnight to monitor weather conditions and apply chemicals to problem areas, including bridges, overpasses and entrance and exit ramps. An anti-icing solution of salt brine was applied Monday afternoon to selected high-volume interstate and primary roads. Crews will be on duty throughout the storm. They will concentrate first on interstate and primary highways, moving onto the secondary road system as conditions allow.
Hazardous driving conditions are most likely late Tuesday afternoon, evening and overnight into Wednesday. Motorists should be particularly careful on bridges, overpasses, turn lanes, ramps and intersections, as well as roads at higher elevations and in the western areas of Central Virginia. Motorists should allow plenty of time for travel, reduce speed and increase following distance to allow more time to react to unexpected conditions.
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 www.511Virginia.org.
- 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.