TDOT Says It’s Ready for More Winter Weather in 2017
Middle Tennessee has already been hit with a round of snow and ice in 2017, but officials with the Tennessee Department of Transportation want drivers to know that the agency is stocked and equipped with resources, equipment, and supplies to handle more rounds of winter weather in the coming weeks.
Per a report by Clarksville Now, TDOT has replenished its salt supplies for all 95 counties in the state and has prepped its snow plows and brine trucks to treat roadways.
A spokesperson with TDOT says that because Tennessee’s weather is often unpredictable, the agency begins winter preparation efforts months in advance by stocking salt bins and brine supplies and getting employees ready to mobilize at a moment’s notice in case inclement weather strikes.
TDOT has a budget of $19.4 million for the 2016-2017 winter season, which includes funds for things like salt, brine, overtime employee pay, and equipment maintenance costs. The agency also uses two salt vendors to keep salt supplies at suitable levels for all 95 counties.
The agency has 247,000 tons of salt and more than 1.6 million gallons of brine, which is a mixture of salt and water that’s use to pre-treat roads when the weather forecast calls for freezing rain and snow. At the first sign of winter weather, TDOT focuses first on interstates and heavily traveled state routes, including specific areas like hills, curves, ramps, bridges, and interchanges.
What Are Common Causes of Winter Weather Auto Accidents?
TDOT begins treating roads hours before roadways begin to accumulate snow and ice, and the agency continues treating them as winter weather continues. Any type of moisture on roads can make them more dangerous, but ice is especially hazardous. When winter weather strikes, your best option is to simply stay home. If that’s not possible, it’s important to be aware of these common causes of winter weather car accidents:
- Reduced tire traction and increased braking distance
Driving on ice is extremely dangerous, as it can make your tires almost completely ineffective at gripping the road. Black ice, which is formed when air hits freezing temperatures and rain begins to fall, is a thin and transparent form of ice that can be hard to see. However, it is easily felt due to its tendency to cause vehicles to suddenly become uncontrollable and for brakes to lock. Driving slowly and accelerating only when necessary can help you avoid going into a spin if you drive over a patch of black ice.
- Reduced visibility
Snowstorms can decrease visibility in two ways: first, snowfall mixed with strong winds can create near zero-visibility conditions, especially during heavy storms that feature large amounts of snowfall. Second, snow can create a blinding effect when the sun comes out, as snow reflects sunlight directly in your line of sight. Snow and ice on your hood or windshield can also become extremely reflective when sunlight hits it, making it difficult to see.
- Loose snow and ice falling off vehicles
Before leaving your home, you should always take the time to clear all snow and ice off your vehicle. Many drivers only take the time to clear their windshields and front windows, while failing to clear large sheets of snow off their vehicle roofs and trunks. When vehicles are in motion, they begin to warm up and cause these large chunks of snow to loosen. They can eventually fly off, putting other drivers in danger when they go airborne at high speeds—especially if they contain large amounts of ice.
Warm temperatures are expected to melt most of the snow and ice from last week’s winter weather, but with two and a half months of winter left, it’s important for drivers to be prepared to deal more inclement weather conditions over the next several weeks. Keep these common snow and ice-related accident causes in mind before you head out on your commute to school or work, and if your driveway or roadway looks impassable due to ice, stay home.
The Nashville auto accident attorneys at Matt Hardin Law know that many winter weather-related car accidents are due to both dangerous road conditions and negligent drivers. If you or someone you know was injured in a crash that may have been due to another driver’s disregard for safe driving, you may be eligible to pursue a claim for compensation. Get in touch with our legal team today by dialing (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online consultation form to find out how we can assist you.