MIDLAND, Texas — Texas is soon to be getting colder as the winter weather approaches, and along with it comes some treacherous driving conditions.
More specifically, black ice. You can’t exactly see it on the roads, but you can most definitely hit it. And black ice can cause some serious problems. The Texas Department of Transportation is well aware of the situation and is informing the public on how to prepare and take caution when facing black ice.
A public information officer with TxDOT, Gene Powell, says they don’t want anyone to get hurt, let alone experience black ice, adding, “most importantly we don’t want motorists hurt because they’re unaware of water on the road.”
Black ice doesn’t just form during the rain storm or the every so often snow fall, but during everyday weather changes such as fog.
“Black ice forms sometimes when there’s just a dense fog or somebody throws water on the road, something like that,” says Powell.
But of course, black ice becomes practically invisible when you’re on the road.
Powell says, “there’s really no way to see it or predict it, so it can be a very small patch, it can be a larger patch.”
Even though there is really nothing that can be done to stop black ice from forming on the roads during the winter seasons, TxDOT has two recommendations that the public should follow while driving in such harsh conditions.
“The number one thing to do is slow down, if it’s bad weather, if it’s cold, and you’re not comfortable in driving conditions. You know, slowing down, not using cruise control, because if you use cruise control and you hit a patch of ice, your engine will rev because you’ve lost traction and then when you gain traction, you shoot of in a direction you may not intend to,” mentions Powell.
And construction can also have a major impact when it comes to the conditions of the winter roads.
Powell goes on to say, “in winter it’s even more important to be careful through work zones, we have a lot of construction out here, we’ve got nearly a billion dollars under construction right now in our twelve counties, and sometimes water is a part of a construction project, you know we have to keep the dust down, we need water to help treat things, so driving through a construction zone is really important to be on the look out for a wet road that might ice over, so please take care.”
Just be prepared! That is all TxDOT is looking for the public to do as the colder weather creeps in. And while you might not be able to avoid these harmful situations, just keep your eyes on the road and drive carefully.