Atlanta, Texas | The Texas Department of Transportation is gearing up for wintry weather that is expected to move into the local area this weekend. Crews are checking supplies such as sand and de-icing materials, and making sure equipment is ready-to-go. TxDOT staff is also on standby and prepared to work around the clock to treat slick roadways, if necessary.
“TxDOT is ready to respond should we receive winter weather in any of our district’s 11 counties, but we need your help,” said Bob Ratcliff, TxDOT Atlanta District Engineer. “Drivers should avoid unnecessary travel during winter weather conditions, as travel can be extremely unpredictable. If you must drive, please reduce your speed and take extra precautions when approaching bridges, shaded spots, and overpasses, as these areas tend to ice over first.”
The Atlanta District has equipment and supplies strategically placed throughout its coverage area, which includes Bowie, Camp, Cass, Harrison, Marion, Morris, Panola, Titus and Upshur counties to ensure quick response. When a storm moves into the area, crews will begin treating the structures on the most heavily-traveled roadways first.
Sleet, ice and freezing rain can create extremely dangerous driving conditions, which is why TxDOT strongly advises drivers to stay off the roads as much as possible. The number of Texas motor vehicle traffic crashes totaled 111,238 during the winter months (Dec. 2013, Jan. 2014, and Feb. 2014). These crashes resulted in 793 fatalities and almost 20,000 injuries (incapacitating and non-incapacitating). If drivers must be on the road, please remember to:
- Reduce speed
- Increase following distance
- Use extra caution on bridges, ramps, overpasses
- Stay back at least 200 feet from vehicles treating roadways
- If you start to slide, ease off the gas pedal or brakes and steer into the direction of skid
- Avoid unnecessary travel
Another important winter weather driving tip to remember is to stay in your vehicle at all times, even if you become involved in a crash. If one vehicle slid off the road, there’s a potential that others will follow. Staying in your vehicle could help save your life.
For additional information about statewide road conditions, visit www.drivetexas.org or call