Contact: Sonja Gross

Phone: (806) 356-3256

Date: Oct. 24, 2019


AMARILLO – As people across the Texas panhandle know, winter weather can be extremely unpredictable. Quickly-changing conditions can present unique challenges and dangers for drivers. Motorists should be prepared for any type of driving condition during winter weather events like the one currently underway.

TxDOT’s Amarillo District has been working since late Wednesday afternoon to treat roadways – patrolling, sanding, and plowing where necessary. Crews will continue to work through the end of this event. TxDOT’s priorities for snow and ice operations are:

  • Roadways that effect the movement of interstate commerce
  • Roadways of high priority locally or regionally
  • Bridge decks, sharp curves, steep grades, intersections and access points
  • Routes near hospitals, emergency facilities and schools

Drivers should listen to weather forecasts and check Texas highway conditions at DriveTexas.org before traveling. Always remember that wearing a seat belt is one of the best ways drivers and passengers can protect themselves in all driving conditions.

TxDOT offers the following advice to help drivers navigate road conditions often seen during the winter months.

Plan ahead for winter travel:

  • Plan your route and check road conditions at DriveTexas.org or by calling 800-452-9292.
  • Let others know your route and expected arrival time, building in extra time for delays.
  • Prepare your vehicle for winter driving by checking its antifreeze, battery, tires, windshield wipers and lights, including brake lights.
  • Assemble an emergency roadside kit to keep in your vehicle — (this should include water, snacks, blankets, etc. just in case.)

Tips for driving in winter conditions:

  • Slow down and increase your distance between other vehicles. It can take twice as long to stop on wet roads and up to 10 times as long on icy roads.
  • Do not use cruise control, as it may cause you to lose control on icy surfaces.
  • Accelerate and brake gently using slow, steady strokes to test traction.
  • Approach turns, bridges and shaded spots slowly. If you find yourself in a skid, stay calm and keep both hands on the wheel. Take your foot off the gas, look where you want to go and then steer in that direction.
  • Stay a safe distance away from snowplows and other TxDOT vehicles as they treat roadways. #DontCrowdThePlow

Tips for driving in fog:

  • Use low beam headlights and fog lights. Do not use high beams.
  • Slow down and use windshield wipers and the defroster to maximize visibility.
  • Increase your following distance to ensure enough room for stopping, and don’t stop suddenly.
  • Use the right edge of the road or roadside reflectors as a guide. If you cannot see, pull off the road completely — preferably at a rest area or truck stop — and turn on your hazard flashers for safety.

The Amarillo District covers 17 counties with 18 maintenance sections. Each have tested winter weather roadway equipment prior to this event including snow plows, material spreaders, safety lighting and other necessary equipment. With more than 9,000 lane miles of roadway in TxDOT's Amarillo District, snow and ice removal during a winter storm is a major operation utilizing hundreds of employees and large pieces of equipment.

Motorists need to drive responsibly, drive for the conditions, practice safe driving habits and heed travel warnings during winter weather events. Checking road conditions at DriveTexas or calling 800-452-9292 before heading out is encouraged to avoid encountering potentially hazardous conditions. Follow us on Twitter @TxDOTAmarillo.

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The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail, and public transportation across the state. Through collaboration and leadership, we deliver a safe, reliable, and integrated transportation system that enables the movement of people and goods.  Find out more at TxDOT.gov. "Like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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