Colder temperatures and high winds could create icy, hazardous conditions on Virginia roadways

Travelers should exercise caution, adjust travel accordingly

RICHMOND  Travelers should take extra precaution and plan ahead for travel on Friday, as sub-freezing temperatures and high winds move across the Commonwealth with the potential to create hazardous conditions on roadways.

As the cold front crosses Virginia, temperatures are expected to drop quickly into the lower 20s or below, which could cause flash freezing of wet road surfaces, resulting in black ice. If a roadway appears wet, treat it as if it is icy.

Frequent high wind gusts up to 40 to 50 mph are expected today and into tonight, which could result in debris on roadways such as downed trees, and pose dangers to high-profile vehicles like tractor-trailers, box trucks and some passenger vans, especially on bridges and higher elevations.

Virginia Department of Transportation crews continue monitoring roadways, treating icy conditions as they develop and removing debris that may be caused by high winds. 

Motorists can report debris, downed trees (on the roadway), potholes or hazardous conditions to VDOT’s 24-hour Customer Service Center online at my.vdot.virginia.gov or by calling 800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623).

In preparation for traveling in extremely cold conditions, motorists should pack an emergency kit and blankets, and have mobile devices fully charged in the event of a breakdown or emergency.

USE 511 FOR UPDATES ON ROAD CONDITIONS 

VDOT’s free mobile 511 app offers access to traffic cameras and provides information about road conditions as well as construction, traffic, incidents, congestion and more. Traffic information is also available at 511Virginia.org or by calling 511 from any phone.

STAY SAFE ON THE ROADS

  • Shady spots, higher elevations and bridges become icy first – be especially cautious in these areas.
  • Drivers should be alert to high winds, especially those in high-profile vehicles like tractor-trailers, box trucks and some passenger vans.
  • Give space and slow down to allow five seconds behind other vehicles and trucks that are plowing the road.
  • Treat a snowplow or spreader truck as an emergency response vehicle. Leave space and don't pass.

PLANNING AND RESOURCES

  • For questions or to report debris, downed trees (on the road), potholes or hazardous road conditions, motorists can contact VDOT’s 24-hour Customer Service Center by visiting my.vdot.virginia.gov or calling 800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623).
  • When winter weather arrives, residents and motorists should be vigilant, plan travel ahead of time, check road conditions, prepare an emergency car kit, follow forecasts and announcements and limit travel based on conditions.
  • For more about winter weather travel and VDOT’s preparation and response, visit VDOT’s winter weather page.                                  

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Last updated: July 11, 2024

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