Use extreme caution, DOT says

Wintry weather alert begins at 4 p.m.
Jan. 21, 2014 @ 01:15 PM

The N.C. Department of Transportation is closely monitoring weather conditions and stands ready to respond should an approaching system create hazardous road conditions in and around the Triad. 
The weather event is predicted to begin this afternoon as rain in most areas. Because it would likely be washed away, NCDOT will not pretreat the roads in the Triad and surrounding areas with a salt-water mixture called brine. As temperatures plunge below freezing this evening, the rain is expected to change over to snow and some accumulation is expected.
Motorists should be aware of the potential for snow and ice on roadways and especially on bridges and overpasses, which freeze first.  Salt trucks throughout the Triad have been loaded and fueled, and local crews will work overnight to treat problem areas as needed. 
Motorists are encouraged to use extreme caution overnight and during the Wednesday morning commute. Remember these safety tips:
• Slow down;
• Bridges and overpasses freeze first;
• Put down the cell phone and focus on the road;
• Use only gentle pressure on both the accelerator and the brakes to avoid skidding; and
• Give other motorists plenty of room in case you or other drivers begin to slide.
NCDOT has produced several videos explaining how maintenance crews gear up for winter weather months in advance, how they determine when to use salt and sand, and how they decide which roads to clear first. These videos and many others are available on the NCDOT YouTube page. 
Check conditions before you go. Motorists can access real-time information about changing road conditions across the state in a number of ways:
• Call 511, the department’s toll-free travel information line;
• Visit NCDOT’s travel webpage to see live traffic camera images and access road conditions by region, route or county;
• Use NCDOT Mobile, the mobile version of the department’s website, to know before you go about road conditions. Just type “m.ncdot.gov” into your smartphone’s browser;
Travelers should not call 911 or the State Highway Patrol for road conditions, as the lines must remain clear for emergency calls.