Lou Hatter 540-829-7537

Jan. 7, 2009

Wet roads, sub-freezing temperatures could create icing early Thursday morning

CULPEPER – Motorists should again use caution while traveling overnight, particularly during the early morning hours Thursday. The moisture left on road surfaces after Wednesday’s rain combined with temperatures forecast to fall below freezing could create black ice conditions.

High winds are also forecast for the area beginning Wednesday night and continuing on Thursday so motorists should be alert for limbs and other debris that may be blown onto road surfaces.

Hazardous driving conditions are most likely 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.

Crews from the Virginia Department of Transportation will monitor road conditions overnight Wednesday due to the possibility of localized freezing and slick road surfaces. Should conditions warrant the crews will treat bridges, mountain passes and other freeze-prone areas with a mix of sand and salt to improve traction.

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 snow brush 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