Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Stacy Londrey 540-727-3201
March 4, 2013
VDOT URGES MOTORISTS TO BE PREPARED FOR SNOW
Highway crews readying equipment, brining interstates and high-volume primaries
CULPEPER — Today the Virginia Department of Transportation began making its preparations for the winter weather forecast to impact Piedmont Virginia. Crews are working across the region and are ready for the storm, which is predicted to begin as rain on Tuesday and change to snow early Wednesday morning.
VDOT urges motorists to make their own preparations and regularly monitor the weather forecast and road conditions. Drivers are advised against travel during the height of the storm, since road conditions are likely to be hazardous. Heavy snowfall will make roads slick and may reduce visibility.
Today crews began treating Interstate 64, I-66 and major primary highways in VDOT’s Culpeper District with anti-icing chemicals. As the snow begins to fall the brine solution prevents a bond from forming between the pavement surface and the snow.
VDOT will continue to monitor the weather and determine its response plans accordingly.
VDOT offers the following tips for driving in winter weather:
- Postpone unnecessary travel until conditions improve. If you must drive, know the current road conditions and weather forecasts.
- 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.
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.