VDOT patrols the roads to keep drivers safe

As the temperatures are falling, road crews are on pavement patrol and warning people about the potential for slick roads.

The roads weren't covered as of Wednesday night, but one thing that VDOT crews are warning people about is black ice -- that's because there are puddles of water standing on almost every road.
VDOT crews tell us they will be out as long as they are needed. They have been out since 7:00 Tuesday evening making sure all the roads are clear and safe for people to travel on.

Ronnie Hale is one of those travelers. "Even in my neighborhood this morning, I saw trucks putting salt down and doing a little scraping where the snow accumulated," he told us.

Hale says most of the day the roads were clear with a few slick spots here and there. "They've done a good job, because for the most part they're clear," he said.

Randy Felty has worked for VDOT for the past 29 years. He tells us they do everything they can to get the roads cleared quickly. "We prepare for the worst so we can take care of whatever we need to take care of and be prepared for it, not take anything lightly," he said.

He tells us when it snows they start clearing the roads people use the most first. "We take care of the primary roads first, and then our secondary roads, and then our gravel roads," he said.

Felty tells us they have around 20 trucks just at the Abingdon office alone, and they use tons of salt. "We have approximately 6,500 tons of salt on hand. An average day, just depending, we'll probably go through on a hard snow 500 tons in a day," he said.

Felty says there are some things you can do to help them get the roads cleared faster. "[Drivers] need to give us a little more room. The plows are a little wider than the road and going around a blind curve, the plow gets there before we can see you," he explained.

Felty says especially at night and early in the morning for people to be careful for potential black ice. "If you don't have to be out, just don't be out," he said.

Felty has a couple of other tips everyone should keep in mind if you have to get out -- he says to make sure you have all the snow and ice off of your windows first. Do not just clear a small hole, because you aren't able to see properly. He also says to make sure you give your car extra time to warm up and leave earlier than you normally would.

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