Motorists encouraged to be on the alert for black ice
With interstates and primary routes mostly clear throughout the state’s western mountains region, N.C. Department of Transportation crews are now clearing the area’s secondary roads.
Crews in NCDOT’s Division 14, which includes Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Polk, Swain and Transylvania counties, are clearing secondary roads in the division today. Work on secondary non-paved roads is expected to begin tomorrow.
Interstate and primary routes are now mostly clear, with icy spots possible on some of the division’s primary roads. Since snow and ice removal efforts started Monday, Division 14 crews have used more than 3,300 tons of salt.
Sunshine and above-freezing temperatures today will help Division 14 continue its de-icing operations throughout the region. As ice and snow melt, however, motorists are encouraged to be on the alert for black ice, which forms when water on the road freezes.
Here are some more tips to help keep motorists safe when traveling through areas with the potential for black ice:
• Slow down;
• Bridges and overpasses freeze first;
• Put down the cell phone and focus on the road;
• Use only gentle pressure on both the accelerator and the brakes to avoid skidding; and
• Give other motorists plenty of room in case you or other drivers begin to slide.
• Be on the lookout for NCDOT vehicles and increase your following distance behind those vehicles to give them ample travel room.
For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit www.ncdot.gov/travel or follow NCDOT on Twitter at www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter. Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type “m.ncdot.gov” into the browser of your smartphone.
You can also get emergency information from the N.C. Department of Public Safety at http://readync.org, and download the ReadyNC app to help you prepare for everything from road conditions to severe storms on a daily basis. It is available for free in the AppStore for iPhones and Google Play for Android devices.
Travelers are asked NOT to call 911 or the State Highway Patrol for road conditions. The lines must remain clear for emergency calls.
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