Blowing snow poses major hazards for motorists - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/27/09

Blowing snow poses major hazards for motorists

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LUBBOCK, TX (TxDOT) - The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Lubbock District's 18 maintenance sections, vehicles and snow plows are ready in anticipation of a winter storm expected to impact the South Plains on Friday.

The safety of the traveling public is TxDOT's priority-responding to snow and ice situations as quickly as possible, said Tracy Cumby, Lubbock District maintenance administrator. 
"Our maintenance crews are prepared to work in shifts and around the clock to monitor and clear the roadways of snow," Cumby said.

According to the National Weather Service, snow accumulations are possible with the winter storm. Strong winds are also anticipated.

"We can plow the roadways but blowing snow can severely limit roadway visibility. Travelers need to use caution," Cumby said. "Traveling during adverse weather conditions is sometimes unavoidable, but motorists can take precautions before heading out."
To reduce hazards motorists should:

  • Check area weather conditions on radio or television before starting a trip.

Motorists can call TxDOT's toll-free highway conditions line at 800-452-9292 or can log on to www.txdot.gov, and click on Road Conditions. The New Mexico road conditions number is 1-800-432-4269.

  • Keep well back from snowplows. Plow drivers can't see directly behind their trucks. Sometimes they must stop or back up. Staying a safe distance behind a snowplow will protect you from possible injury, and protect your car from sanding material used on slick roadways.
  • Never drive through a snow cloud or other whiteout conditions. You can't be sure if it is caused by crosswinds or a snowplow.
  • Use caution when driving over bridges and overpasses. These are the first to freeze.
  • Reduce speed and drive with caution. A vehicle needs at least three times more space to stop on a slick roadway. Visibility can also be reduced during winter weather conditions.
  • Be patient. Your trip time-including short commutes to work-could increase when adverse weather conditions exist.
  • Assemble a winter storm kit. The kit should include: a flashlight, new batteries, jumper cables, matches, abrasive material (sand, kitty litter, even floor mats), shovel, ice scraper, warning devices (flares), road map and blankets. For longer trips, take along water, non-perishable food, medicine and a cell phone. It's a good idea to let a friend or family member know your anticipated route and arrival time.

Source: TxDOT

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