TxDOT encourages people to stay off the roads during the severe winter weather

Local News

(KETK)- The Texas Department of Transportation is encouraging drivers to stay off the roads because of the winter weather, which can cause hazardous conditions.

According to TxDOT every road in the Tyler district will be affected by the ice and snow. Their team has already seen multiple “weather-related incidents” on the roads.

The Texas Department of Public Safety also is insisting that people do not drive or travel if it is not essential.

“Weather conditions continue to cause hazardous roadways throughout East Texas,” said Sgt. Jean Dark, DPS Public Information Officer. “A reminder to slow down, especially when approaching bridges and overpasses. The roads are very slick.”

People who decide to drive should know that bridges, elevated structures, and overpasses freeze first. However all parts of roadways can be affected by ice.

TxDOT is currently using granular de-icing materials to help improve traction.

However, even though crews are treating the roads, ice can reform. This is why people are encouraged to not drive.

“Every resource we have is dedicated to this weather event and we are treating as many roads as possible as safely and efficiently as we can, prioritizing the heaviest traveled first,” said Tyler District Engineer Vernon Webb. “We have almost 9,000 lane miles of roadway in the eight-county district and we are working 24-7 to treat them but we can’t be everywhere. We can’t stress enough the importance of people staying off the roads. Staying home is the safest option.”

TxDOT also shared the following tips about driving in the winter:

  • Travel is discouraged but if you must drive, check local weather forecasts before departing and visit www.DriveTexas.org or call 800-452-9292 to check highway conditions.
  • Ensure everyone in the vehicle is buckled up.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.
  • Use caution when driving on icy or slick roads. Reduce your speed! Remember, bridges and overpasses are the first to freeze.
  • If you start to slide, ease off the gas pedal or brakes. Steer into the direction of the skid until you feel you have regained traction, then straighten your vehicle.
  • If stranded, remain in the vehicle and call 911.
  • Drive a safe distance away from TxDOT vehicles as they work to treat and clear roadways.  

For road conditions, visit DriveTexas.org or call 1-800-452-9292.

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