Published: 2015-01-14 03:43:00
Updated: 2015-01-14 11:51:29
Posted January 14, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.
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."
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.
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.
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."
While most transit service around the Triangle was expected to run on schedule, the following routes will be delayed Wednesday morning:
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:
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.
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.
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.