Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Stacy Londrey 540-727-3201
Jan. 4, 2014
FREEZING RAIN MAY MAKE DRIVING HAZARDOUS OVERNIGHT
Motorists should monitor weather, road conditions before traveling during storm
CULPEPER — Another winter storm is forecast to move into Central Virginia overnight, with freezing rain beginning late in the evening and continuing into Sunday morning. People who must travel overnight and early Sunday morning should be aware that driving may be hazardous due to icy conditions. Drivers should expect to encounter freezing conditions and ice, especially on bridges, overpasses, ramps, crossovers and turn lanes.
Crews with the Virginia Department of Transportation will be on duty overnight, treating roads with sand and salt to improve traction and speed the melting process. Crews will focus their efforts first on the interstates and primary highways and move to secondary roads, which are numbered 600 and above, as conditions warrant.
Another blast of cold arctic air is forecast to move through Virginia as the storm leaves the area late Sunday. Temperatures are forecast to plummet well below freezing so any moisture on the roads will likely freeze overnight Sunday and Monday morning, creating hazardous driving conditions again.
VDOT offers the following safety tips to the traveling public:
• Be prepared. Have a winter emergency kit in your car. Be sure your car is tuned up and ready for winter (check tires, antifreeze, windshield wipers, lights, heater, oil, etc).
• Be patient. Allow plenty of time to reach your destination, and keep a safe distance behind other vehicles. Don’t pass a snowplow or spreader. Drive gently — don’t slam on your brakes or jerk the wheel — to avoid your car spinning out of control.
• Be vigilant. Reduce speed. Pay close attention, especially when visibility is low. Be alert for tree limbs and other debris in the roadway. Never attempt to drive across or step over fallen utility lines. Always wear your seat belt.
Motorists should check VDOT’s 511 travel website, www.511virginia.org, before leaving on a trip. The website is updated in real time with weather and road conditions for all highways in Virginia. Once on the road VDOT’s 511 mobile app provides real-time traffic and weather information for both iPhone and Android platforms. Travelers can also call 511 from any telephone in Virginia for real-time information on traffic and road conditions.
Note to reporters and editors: Additional information about VDOT’s preparations for winter weather, how the agency responds to snow and ice, FAQs and information about the technology and tools VDOT uses in its winter weather response is available online at www.virginiadot.org/travel/snow.asp.
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.