VDOT: Use extra caution during Tuesday morning commute

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Department of Transportation is urging drivers to use extra caution on their Tuesday morning commute.

VDOT says Richmond area roads are in clear to minor condition, meaning that icy patches may be present on wet pavement.

Their crews are patrolling the roadways and will address any slick spots with salt and sand until pavement temperatures rise.

VDOT urges drivers to be extra careful on raised surface areas where pavement is likely to freeze first, such as ramps, bridges and overpasses.

Drivers can check here for the latest road conditions before they head out the door. Travelers can also report any road concerns to VDOT’s Customer Service Center by calling 800-FORROAD (367-7623) or visiting here.

AAA, meanwhile, is offering the following tips for drivers:

1. Don’t continue at the same speed you would be traveling in clear, dry conditions

  • Rain, snow and ice can dramatically reduce your tires’ traction
  • Drivers should slow down to regain the traction that is lost due to the weather

2. Do not brake and turn at the same time

  • Asking your vehicle to do two things at a time makes it more likely that your tires will lose traction
  • Brake first, then turn, then accelerate.

3. Don’t follow behind other vehicles as closely as you would when driving in clear, dry conditions

  • Slick roads means your vehicle cannot slow down as quickly.
  • Increase following distances to a minimum of 5-6 seconds.
  • Always keep open space to at least one side of your vehicle, in case you need make an emergency lane change maneuver.

4. Don’t be rough with your steering, acceleration and braking.

  • If you are not gentle with steering, acceleration and braking, your vehicle’s balance can be negatively affected, increasing the chance of experiencing a skid.
  • Always steer, accelerate and brake smoothly.

5. Don’t hit the brakes if you start to skid

  • Slamming on the brakes can make the skid even worse

6. Don’t stop if you can avoid it.

  • There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.

7. Don’t power up hills.

  • Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads may only result in spinning your wheels. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill as slowly as possible.

8. Don’t stop going up a hill.

  • It’s difficult to move up a hill on an icy road. If possible, get your vehicle moving on a flat roadway first before taking on a hill.

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