LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the American Automobile Association (AAA) are sharing re-freeze concerns Monday night into Tuesday morning as temperatures drop well below freezing.
AAA Mid-Atlantic Spokesperson Morgan Dean is expecting a busy day on Tuesday, Jan. 18 when it comes to roadside assistance
“We’re getting back to a more normal business day, although there are warnings about watching out for that black ice out there,” Dean said. “We hope drivers heed that warning but because we know that there’s likely to be more drivers on the road there’s much more of a potential that we could get more calls.”
Dean warns that runoff from melting snow can turn to black ice in a matter of minutes and driveways could be deceptively difficult.
“You’ll sometimes see about two or three inches of snow in your driveway and think ‘that’s not really a huge problem, I’ll be able to get out,’ and then it freezes solid around the tires and everything else overnight, and then suddenly it’s a little bit harder to get out,” explained Dean.
Len Stevens with VDOT’s Lynchburg District stresses the importance of clearing off the top of your vehicle, which could help prevent crashes.
“It’s heavier, it’s thicker, it’s denser, and if the car warms up just enough and the wind hits it, it’ll fly right off the roof of your car,” said Stevens.
As VDOT receives reports of ice on roads, they’ll address those issues with salt brine and abrasives. However, Stevens says it’s important for vehicles to maintain proper speed.
“Slow down. You can look for ice, but if it’s black ice, you’re not going to see it until you’re on top of it,” Stevens told WFXR News. “So really that’s the safety message that we have is that we have to watch out for that refreeze.”
Stevens recommends only driving if necessary following this winter storm. After all, slick conditions will be widespread across southwest and central Virginia overnight and through Tuesday morning.
Drivers are urged to slow down, leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle ahead of you, and avoid fast braking to lower the risk of losing control of your vehicle. If you do start to slide, turn the wheel in the direction that you want the vehicle to go.