RALEIGH,N.C. — The Highway Patrol is urging citizens to use caution while driving Thursday and Friday as roadway conditions continue to deteriorate.
The Highway Patrol is responding to calls for service as a result of the precipitation that is starting to accumulate on the highways.
"As the winter weather moves into the state people should avoid travel if at all possible," said Col. Richard W. Holden, Commander of the North Carolina Highway Patrol. "Road conditions will continue to deteriorate throughout the day."
Citizens should now be making preparations for the winter weather storm. At 8 a.m., the Highway Patrol currently had over 150 calls for service pending across the state.
Citizens should not call the Highway Patrol for roadway conditions. Please check the
state Department of Transportation Web site
for current travel conditions.
Citizens should observe conditions in their area and stay tuned to local radio and television for weather information. If you must travel, you should take the following precautions:
Reduce your speed. Driving at the regular speed limit will reduce your ability to control the car if you begin to slide.
Leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles.
Bridges and overpasses accumulate ice first. Approach them with extreme caution and do not apply your brakes while on the bridge.
If you do begin to slide, take your foot off the gas and turn the steering wheel
in the direction of the slide
apply the brakes as that will cause further loss of control of the car.
If you become trapped in your car:
Pull off the highway; stay calm and remain in your vehicle. At night, turn on the inside dome light, so work and rescue crews can see you.
Set your directional lights to "flashing" and hang a cloth or distress flag from the radio aerial or window. In a rural or wilderness area, spread a large cloth over the snow to attract attention of rescue crews who may be surveying the area by airplane.
Do not set out on foot unless you can see a building close by where you know you can take shelter. Be careful: distances are distorted by blowing snow. A building may seem close but may actually be too far to walk to in deep snow.
If you run the engine to keep warm, open a window slightly for ventilation. This will protect you from possible carbon monoxide poisoning. Periodically clear away snow from the exhaust pipe.
Exercise to maintain body heat, but avoid overexertion. In extreme cold, use road maps, seat covers and floor mats for insulation. Huddle with passengers and use your coat as a blanket.
Never let everyone in the car sleep at once. One person should stay awake to look out for rescue crews.
Be careful not to use battery power. Balance electrical energy needs -- the use of lights, heat and radio -- with your supply.