The Texas Department of Transportation Sunday issued a warning to drivers in north and west Texas to be prepared for a wintry mix that could impact rush hour traffic Monday morning and driving throughout the day. Crews in TxDOT’s Abilene district have been treating roads for days leading up to the storm. With temperatures expected to drop near freezing or below, icy weather could wreak havoc in areas for Monday morning commuters.
TxDOT crews have worked throughout the weekend and plan to continue de-icing and treating roads overnight Sunday to reduce the impacts of freezing and refreezing. Despite this work, drivers are urged to use extreme caution because of the potential for black ice, which appears as dry pavement. Ice on bridges and overpasses will continue to be a concern in the impacted areas.
Drivers are urged to follow these precautions:
· Reduce speed. Speed limits are based on normal road and weather conditions, not winter road conditions. Do not use cruise control.
· Maintain at least three times the normal following distance on snow or ice.
· Watch carefully for personnel and equipment treating roadways, and stay at least 200 feet back from road crews.
· Use extra caution on bridges, ramps, overpasses and shaded areas as they tend to freeze first.
· Carry extra warm coats, gloves and boots in case you get stranded.
· If you start to slide, ease off the gas pedal or brakes. Steer into the direction of the skid until you feel you have regained traction, and then straighten your vehicle.
Motorists can obtain travel information by visiting drivetexas.org or calling (800) 452-9292. Road conditions and traffic updates are available on Facebook, www.facebook.com/txdot and Twitter, www.twitter.com/txdotabilene.