Wintry mix creating icy, hazardous travel conditions across NC

Posted on: 5:58 pm, January 25, 2013, by , updated on: 06:02pm, January 25, 2013

A tractor-trailer jack-knifed at 85 South and 311. (Credit: Blake Brown)

A tractor-trailer jack-knifed at 85 South and 311. (Credit: Blake Brown)

RALEIGH, N.C. — Authorities said a wintry mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow is causing icy and hazardous travel conditions on roads across the state, and road conditions are expected to worsen overnight as temperatures drop.

Officials with the N.C. Department of Transportation are urging motorists to use extreme caution and avoid driving if possible.

Slick spots are being reported on both primary and secondary routes. Rain fell first in some areas, diluting the brine crews spread on the roads and creating extremely icy conditions. Crews across the state are continuing to spread salt and sand on the roads.

Overnight, temperatures in many areas of the state will become low enough that the effectiveness of the salt will be limited. Crews will then transition to treating hot spots with a sand and salt mixture and remain on standby monitoring road conditions. Crews will begin treating roads with salt early in the morning as temperatures rise.

NCDOT strongly urges that motorists avoid driving overnight due to conditions that could potentially become very hazardous. Road conditions are expected to start improving Saturday morning as temperatures rise and salt can work effectively.

If you must drive on icy roads, remember these tips:

  • Slow down.
  • Give other motorists plenty of room in case you or the other drivers begin to slide.
  • Use only gentle pressure on both the accelerator and the brakes to avoid skidding.
  • Bridges and overpasses freeze first.
  • Put away the cellphone!

Check conditions before you go. Motorists can access real-time information about changing road conditions across the state in a number of ways:

  • Call 511, the department’s toll-free travel information line;
  • Visit NCDOT’s travel webpage at http://tims.ncdot.gov/tims/default.aspx to see live traffic camera images and access road conditions by region, route or county;
  • Use NCDOT Mobile, the mobile version of the department’s website, to know before you go about road conditions. Just type “m.ncdot.gov” into your smartphone’s browser;
  • “Like” NCDOT on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/NCDOT1; and
  • Follow one of NCDOT’s many Twitter feeds, which are listed at http://www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter/.