Heidi Underwood 540-387-5493
Jan. 18, 2009
SLEET AND RAIN CREATE SLICK ROAD CONDITIONS IN THE NEW RIVER VALLEY
8 AM UPDATE
Freezing rain has created slick road conditions in portions of the New River valley and southwest Virginia. Drivers will find most roads in the New River valley and Hillsville areas are in minor to moderate condition. Minor conditions mean mostly wet with isolated slick spots. Moderate conditions mean mostly snow or ice covered. Drivers should use caution in cool spots such as shady areas, bridges and overpasses.
Several days of cold temperatures have made the ground and pavement temperatures drop, causing moisture on the roadways to freeze rapidly. Motorists should be alert for icy conditions even if the roadway only appears wet.
Crews are focusing their attention on interstates and primary roads and will continue on these routes until the precipitation stops and these routes are treated. VDOT urges drivers who must travel to stay at least five seconds behind the vehicles in front of them and allow extra time to get to their destinations. .
The 12-county Salem VDOT district includes Bedford, Botetourt, Carroll, Craig, Giles, Floyd, Franklin, Henry, Patrick, Pulaski, Montgomery, Roanoke counties.
VDOT is asking drivers to keep in mind the following tips when driving in winter conditions:
Make sure your vehicle is winter ready, including at least a half tank full of gas.
- Keep an emergency driving kit in your car and wear your seatbelt.
- Keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles.
- Do not attempt to pass snowplows and stay at least 100 feet behind them.
- Be aware of potentially icy areas such as shady spots and bridges.
- When driving on ice, don’t slam on your brakes. Travel gently. Turn slowly. Brake slowly. Sudden changes can cause your car to spin out of control.
- Don’t park along the street. Snowplow drivers can’t fully clear a road if cars are in their way.
- If possible, avoid unnecessary travel when crews are clearing snow and ice from the roadways.
For updated road condition information across the Commonwealth, drivers can call 511 or go online to www.511Virginia.org. Traffic cameras are available for viewing online at www.trafficland.com.
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.