A Guide to Driving Safely in the Snow
Tips for driving without incident during snow in Fairfax County
Driving in the snow can be treacherous. In last Thursday's snowfall alone, the Virginia State Police responded to 109 crashes in Fairfax County.
Fortunately, none of those crashes resulted in serious injuries. But to stay safe out there for the next storm, the Virginia Department of Transportation offers the following tips:
"One has to be aware, be alert, and expect the worst case scenario," said Joe Vagi, assistant director of public affairs for the Virginia Department of Transportation.
Before even getting in to the car, think about whether that trip is even a must-do. Driving is most dangerous when temperatures are at or under 32 degrees, according to VDOT.
"Stay at home if at all possible," Vagi said.
If you have to go out for essentials, remember to drive as slow as feasible and keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other cars and trucks.
"We would also encourage folks to stay clear of snow removal equipment," Vagi said. "If they know that their street is going to be plowed, we asked that vehicles be moved off the street to allow complete access to the roadways."
Don't pass a snowplow unless necessary. Drivers should take extra caution on bridges, overpasses and ramps where things tend to freeze up first.
"It really gets back to drivers slowing down and maintaining distance," Vagi said. "Keep your eyes out for icy conditions."
- Call 800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623) to report Virginia road hazards or ask road-related questions.
- www.virginiadot.org has information on VDOT's news, projects, programs and other topics.
- www.511virginia.org provides real-time updates on traffic incidents and road conditions.
- www.ReadyVirginia.gov is a one-stop shop for emergency preparedness tips and information.
- www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency provides emergency information from Fairfax County Government.