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Tips for driving in winter

Texas Department of Transportation—

CHILDRESS – Long before the first snowflake falls, the Childress District of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has their crews ready for any winter storms which will impact their 13-county district.

Because the weather can change unexpectedly, TxDOT closely monitors weather conditions with the National Weather Service out of Amarillo and Lubbock. When a winter weather event is likely to impact the area, roadways treated are prioritized by Interstate, U.S. highway, SH (State Highway), and FM (Farm-to-Market) roads.  Crews also treat bridges, overpasses, high traffic interchanges.

Pretreating with brine (a mixture of salt and water) typically begins two days before an advancing storm, but can begin as early as one week prior to the storm’s arrival. Brine helps to prevent ice/snow from bonding to the roadway. With the changes in weather, driving conditions change as well.

The following tips can help you navigate safely when winter weather strikes:
•    Check road conditions in your area and where you are heading by visiting drivetexas.org or by calling 1-800-452-9292.
•     Increase your following distance by at least three times the normal following distance on snow or ice.
•    Brake gently in slow, steady strokes to see how much traction you have and begin braking early when approaching intersections or stops.
•    Approach bridges, shaded spots, over-passes and turns slowly.
•    Never use cruise control in winter driving conditions.
•    If your vehicle starts to slide, ease off the gas pedal or brakes. Steer into the direction of the skid until you have regained traction, then straighten your vehicle.
•    A winter survival kit should be kept in your vehicle and should include: blankets and warm clothes; a scraper; flashlight  and batteries; first-aid kit; booster cables; non-perishable food; and water.

For updated information during winter weather  events  you  can  follow  the  Childress District’s Twitter account, found at @TxDOTChildress.

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