Advisory: Freezing rain could leave roads slick in Rowan

Published 1:57 pm Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Forecasters have put Rowan County under a winter weather advisory, saying rain will change over to freezing rain this evening, the frozen precipitation will continue through midday Wednesday.

The National Weather Service is predicting only a slight accumulation of ice, but that’s enough to make driving potentially hazardous and create the potential for power outages.

N.C. Department of Transportation maintenance crews are on standby, the agency said.

In most counties, Transportation Department maintenance crews went home midday today and will be back this evening to spread salt and sand into the morning on areas prone to slick conditions — such as bridges, overpasses and ramps — as well as roads and highways.

In most locations, the state agency said, spreading brine wouldn’t help combat slippery road conditions with this storm due to rain today that would wash off the solution.

NCDOT offers tips for driving on icy roads:

When roads are icy, the Department of Transportation advises people not to drive unless they need to. Drivers should slow down and leave plenty of space between themselves and other vehicles. Do not use cruise control, and drive smoothly without sudden accelerating, braking or turning.

If you begin to slide, remember the following rules:

  • Don’t panic.
  • Take your foot off of the accelerator.
  • If you have to use the breaks, use them gently (antilock brakes should be applied with gentle, steady pressure; for standard, non-ABS brakes, pump the brake pedal gently to avoid locking up).
  • Wait for the car to slow down enough to regain traction before gently accelerating.
  • Yield the right of way at intersections.

Rear-wheel skids

  • Steer your vehicle in the direction that your rear wheels are skidding.
  • Avoid focusing on what your vehicle may be headed toward and instead focus on getting out of the skid.

Front-wheel skids

  • Shift into neutral.
  •  Don’t try to steer immediately.
  • When your vehicle begins to slow down, steer in the direction that you want your vehicle to go.
  • Put the vehicle into gear and gently accelerate.