Drivers slip and slide on ice Wednesday morning

Posted January 14, 2015

— Slick road surfaces, dampened by days of light rain and chilled by overnight temperatures that dipped past the freezing mark, caused problems Wednesday morning for drivers.

"Two words: Slow down," Lt. Jeff Gordon of the state Highway Patrol advised.

Gordon said troopers responded to more than 50 collision reports in Wake County along between about 4:30 and 10 a.m. 

The worst of the issues came on elevated highways and bridges, Gordon said. In areas outside Wake County, less traffic led to a greater likelihood of ice glazing on roads and slip-and-slide crashes.

"98 percent have been property-damage wrecks rather than personal-injury wrecks, which is a good thing," Gordon said.

"I think the message got out early after people started getting out on the highways to either a) delay their travel or b) slow their speed."

Travel problems widespread Wednesday morning

Lanes closed in south Raleigh

Traffic in south Raleigh slowed when a Wake County Public School System fuel truck overturned on Interstate 40 at Gorman Street at about 7 a.m., resulting in the closure of westbound lanes there.

Police were on the scene to detour traffic off I-40, onto Gorman Street and back to the highway until about 10:30 a.m.

Even public servants slide on ice

A number of cars, including a sheriff's deputy's vehicle, slid off Interstate 540 near the Creedmoor Road exit in north Raleigh.

The Department of Transportation reported responding to an accident involving more than a dozen cars in Person County.

In Orange County, firefighters en route to an accident call slid on ice near the intersection of Phelps and Mason Keyon roads and their firetruck ended up on its side on the shoulder. No one was hurt in that incident.

In Nash County, U.S. Highway 64 westbound was closed before dawn where a tractor-trailer slid off the road into the vehicles of a sheriff's deputy and another driver on the shoulder.

Trooper Justine Roy said the driver of an SUV ran off the road first near the interchange with Interstate 95. The deputy stopped to help that driver, and both were parked when the truck hit their vehicles.

Accidents get off to an early start

In Chatham County, two accidents on the U.S. Highway 64 bridge over Jordan Lake closed lanes there before 6 a.m., and traffic through the area remained backed up past 10 a.m.

A pickup truck headed east spun out on ice, and a tractor-trailer slid into the truck, sending both into the median.

In the second incident, a tractor-trailer slid through the guardrail and overturned on the bank of the lake.

Neither resulted in serious injuries, emergency personnel on the scene said. 

Dispatchers in both Chatham and Person counties reported dozens of accident calls.


Jonathan Boone, director of Rocky Mount Public Works & Water Resources, advised that drivers who see traffic problems keep moving and call 911.

"Make them aware of the location and let police respond to it,” he said. “Otherwise you could make a bad situation worse – a pileup."

@WRALtraffic tweets for latest incidents

Live Blog Latest accidents and trouble spots

Triangle Transit delays

While most transit service around the Triangle was expected to run on schedule, the following routes will be delayed Wednesday morning:

  • Route 700 will begin at Durham Station at 10 a.m.
  • Route 700 will begin at the Regional Transit Center at 10:30 a.m.
  • Route 400 will begin at Durham Station at 10 a.m.
  • Route 400 will begin at Manning Drive and UNC Hospital at 10 a.m.
  • Route 800 will begin at Streets of Southpoint at 10:01 a.m.
  • Route 800 will begin at South Road-Student Stores at 10:09 a.m.
  • Route 300 will begin at the Cary Train Station at 10 a.m.
  • Route 100 will begin at Hillsborough Street/Brooks at 10 a.m.
  • Route 100 will begin at Airport-Terminal 1 at 10:10 a.m.
  • Route 805 will begin at Woodcroft Shopping Center at 10:30 a.m.

Tips for driving on icy roads

First, don't go out unless you absolutely have to. If you must, slow down and leave plenty of space between you and other vehicles. Do not use cruise control, and drive smoothly without sudden accelerating, braking or turning.

A slide or skid can be unnerving. Keep these maneuvers in mind when driving; better yet, practice in an empty parking lot before you have to use them. Use the same maneuver for front-wheel, rear-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles.

In all cases:

Don’t panic.

Take your foot off of the accelerator.

If you have to use the brakes, use them gently (anti-lock brakes should be applied with gentle, steady pressure; for standard, non-ABS brakes, pump the brake pedal gently to avoid locking up).

Wait for the car to slow down enough to regain traction before gently accelerating.

Yield the right of way at intersections.

Rear-wheel skids

Steer your vehicle in the direction that your rear wheels are skidding.

Avoid focusing on what your vehicle may be headed toward and instead focus on getting out of the skid.

Front-wheel skids

Shift into neutral.

Don’t try to steer immediately.

When your vehicle begins to slow down, steer in the direction that you want your vehicle to go. 

Put the vehicle into gear and gently accelerate.


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  • Kristin Byrne Jan 14, 2015
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    I would hardly call this an ice storm. I was around for the ice storm that hit in December 2002. THAT was an ice storm.

    I drove to work this morning, and the roads were wet. Granted, the bridges/overpasses were a bit slick, but that happens in the winter. I'm not going to hibernate all winter because some people insist on driving crazy in this weather, causing accidents.

  • moomoo Jan 14, 2015

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    My bad--that was meant for "Panther". so sorry.

  • UpChuck Jan 14, 2015

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    Well, you have to have an ice storm first.

  • Keith Bonham Jan 14, 2015
    user avatar

    That was someone else's post about the DOT not salting. My post was about the geniuses that should NOT be driving.

  • moomoo Jan 14, 2015

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    Yes they did.

  • moomoo Jan 14, 2015

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    Unless he has different data Keeter may be mistaken. Channel 11 just reported that all bridges and overpasses in Wake County were salted/sanded by DOT last night and this morning. The spokesperson advised that much of the susbtance was "eroded or blown off" the bridges due to the traffic and that caused some slick spots.

  • Keith Bonham Jan 14, 2015
    user avatar

    What about the geniuses that are out driving during a ice storm. Over 50 accidents reported in wake county. 25+ in Durham. Why do people INSIST on driving instead of heeding the warnings. IF YOUR BOSS IS THAT BIG OF A D*#&, you should find a hotel near work or sleep at work Only people that should be on the road, police, fire, med, utility people.

  • Boxtruck Charlie Rides Again Jan 14, 2015

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    yea the are flat

  • Boxtruck Charlie Rides Again Jan 14, 2015

    There would be far less wrecks if some people just used common sense and not ignorance thinking they can drive on ice. Me and my boxtruck were going nowhere due to the conditions.

  • AppStgrad Jan 14, 2015

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    Probably safe to assume yes, but ice historically isn't known to check licenses before it forms on road ways.