A snowstorm hit North Carolina and Virginia this weekend bringing over 20 inches of snow in some areas. The snow, sleet, and frozen rain caused power outages for over 250,000 people. Some areas saw more snow than they see in an entire winter. Asheville, NC, received 11.1 inches of snow, making it their third-biggest recorded snowfall in December. Meanwhile, forecasters predicted 4-8 inches in Roanoke, VA, but saw nearly 12 inches.
The snow, sleet, and freezing rain caused dangerous driving conditions. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper asked people to stay off the roads. First responders spent the night clearing accidents including a tractor trailer that ran off the road into a river.
Driving in icy conditions may not always be easy to avoid, especially if there is black ice. When the air is 32 degrees or below, precipitation can freeze on impact. Also, sleet or refreezing of snow can cause black ice to form. If you or your employees need to drive in in icy conditions, make sure they take all precautions to ensure a safe ride. Below are some safety tips for traveling in these conditions.
- Clear the car. Make sure that the vehicle is clear of all snow and/or ice before driving. Snow and ice that pile on the car can fly off and hit other vehicles or pedestrians.
- Look out for black ice. Pay close attention to areas of the pavement that may look dark, wet, or like new asphalt, If you come across an icy roadway, proceed with caution.
- Keep calm. If you should happen to drive on an icy roadway, do not panic. Avoid slamming on the brakes or over-correcting the steering wheel. Instead, release your foot from the gas pedal and steer where you want the car to go.
- Know your surroundings. Pay attention to fellow drivers and make sure to give them enough space. Leave at least 8 seconds of driving time between you and the car in front of you.