DOTD offers tips for driving during freeze
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has received numerous inquiries from the public asking about preparation for this week’s anticipated freezing temperatures.
The department is prepared to respond ahead of any freezing weather that may cause icy conditions on state routes. DOTD coordinates with state police and local law enforcement to determine if roadways are safe for travel.
During winter weather conditions, DOTD staff will continually monitor bridges and, if necessary and as resources allow, salt them. Staff will also monitor surface conditions of highways, interstates, and priority routes that are heavily traveled and provide updates regarding those conditions. DOTD is prepared to close bridges and elevated sections of roadway that are considered unsafe. Motorists should be aware that bridges may freeze before crews can arrive or before a closure notice can be issued.
There are several ways motorists can stay informed of the latest status of state routes:
- 511 Traveler Information: Travelers can find information regarding road closures by downloading the Louisiana 511 mobile app or by visiting the 511 Traveler Information website at www.511la.org. This website is updated in real time with changing road conditions.
- MyDOTD: Motorists can receive up-to-date information on local projects, lane and road closures, and other DOTD activity by signing up for MyDOTD at www.dotd.la.gov.
- Social Media: Find DOTD on social media for updates and information. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Drivers should stay off roadways during hazardous conditions. If driving is absolutely necessary during winter weather conditions, motorists should follow these safety tips:
- Drive slowly and carefully.
- If roadways are icy, do not use cruise control.
- Do not drive while distracted.
- Always allow for extra driving time.
- Reduce speeds when visibility is low.
- Make sure there is plenty of room between vehicles.
- Be on the lookout for DOTD crews and other emergency responders and their equipment.
- Remember that it’s unlawful and unsafe to drive around a road closed barricade for any reason.
- Do not drive in hazardous conditions.
Also, beware of black ice, which is a thin, transparent layer of ice accumulation that can be visually hard to detect on bridges, overpasses, off-ramps, and in shady spots.
As always, DOTD reminds motorists to buckle up and refrain from distracted driving or driving under the influence.