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Ice a threat for drivers after snow falls

Posted January 21

Temperatures dropped through the 30s Tuesday evening as snow and rain fell across central North Carolina. "Anything that falls will freeze," said WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel, "And that sets us up for an icy commute in the morning." 

Most area school systems, including Wake, Durham and Cumberland counties, planned ahead and posted two-hour delays for Wednesday morning. The complete list of area closings and delays numbered more than 100.

The State Highway Patrol advised drivers to avoid being on the roads once snow starts to fall.

If you must drive in ice and snow, take these precautions:  

  • Make sure your battery and cellphone are fully charged
  • Fill your gas tank
  • Pack bottled water and a blanket in the trunk

While on the road, slow down when roads are slick. Other driving tips:

  • Increase your following distance. You should allow about four car lengths for every 10 mph
  • Drive slower than the posted speed limit
  • Don't use cruise control
  • Stay in cleared lanes, or follow in the tracks of other vehicles where possible
  • Don't try to change lanes

If your car starts to skid:

  • Let your foot off the gas
  • Don't slam on the brakes
  • Steer into the skid
  • Get to a safe place
  • If you get stuck, turn on your flashers so rescue and emergency crews can find and help you.

Throughout the day Tuesday, North Carolina Department of Transportation crews spread salt brine – a mix of salt and water used to inhibit ice from adhering to road surfaces. Crews were on standby to spread more salt and sand to help with traction on major roads.

 

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