TxDOT and law enforcement are encouraging everyone to stay home and off the roads as winter weather creates increasingly hazardous driving conditions. As this unprecedented weather system expands, every road in the Tyler District is expected to be impacted by ice and snow. Throughout the day, TxDOT and emergency officials have worked on numerous weather-related roadway incidents.
The Texas Department of Public Safety joins TxDOT in discouraging all non-essential travel.
“Weather conditions continue to cause hazardous roadways throughout East Texas,” said Sgt. Jean Dark, DPS Public Information Officer. “A reminder to slow down, especially when approaching bridges and overpasses. The roads are very slick.”
If you must travel, know that bridges, overpasses, and elevated structures are the first to freeze and should be navigated cautiously. However, any portion of a roadway is susceptible to ice. Because each winter storm is unique, TxDOT uses a combination of anti-icing and de-icing materials and equipment. Granular de-icing materials are currently being used to help improve traction.
Crews continue to re-treat roads to improve safety as weather conditions allow but this does not mean ice won’t form. Drivers are urged to stay off the roads as storms continue to develop.
“Every resource we have is dedicated to this weather event and we are treating as many roads as possible as safely and efficiently as we can, prioritizing the heaviest traveled first,” said Tyler District Engineer Vernon Webb. “We have almost 9,000 lane miles of roadway in the eight-county district and we are working 24-7 to treat them but we can’t be everywhere. We can’t stress enough the importance of people staying off the roads. Staying home is the safest option.”
Winter Driving Tips
• Travel is discouraged but If you must drive, check local weather forecasts before departing and visit www.DriveTexas.org or call 800-452-9292 to check highway conditions.
• Ensure everyone in the vehicle is buckled up.
• Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.
• Use caution when driving on icy or slick roads. Reduce your speed! Remember, bridges and overpasses are the first to freeze.
• 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, then straighten your vehicle.
• If stranded, remain in the vehicle and call 911.
• Drive a safe distance away from TxDOT vehicles as they work to treat and clear roadways.
For road conditions, visit DriveTexas.org or call 1-800-452-9292.