Tennessee Highway Patrol tips on driving in winter weather
JACKSON, Tenn. — With ice possibly on the way, the Tennessee Highway Patrol has all the tips you need to get through Wednesday night and Thursday, safe and sound.
Some regions of West Tennessee are expected to get rain on Wednesday, which means the roadways and bridges could be covered in ice by night — a known cause of accidents.
“If it’s ice, the best drivers, I mean the absolute best drivers still have difficulties on ice. If there’s even a chance of ice, you should already have your speed reduced to lower than normal,” said Lt. Brad Wilbanks, with THP.
“Accelerate and decelerate slowly. If you see traffic ahead of you, please do not slam on the brakes. Slowly put your foot on the brakes and try to come to a slow stop,” said Sgt. Jena Eubanks, with THP.
THP says that if you can avoid driving on the roads, do so because it’s going to be dangerous.
But if you do have to go out on the road, we have some tips for you, both before your drive and during.
“Make sure your tires are properly inflated and have plenty of tread, keep at least half a tank of gas. Please do not be travelling in this weather with a quarter tank of gas, because you might be stuck in traffic or out on the roadways in these weather conditions,” Eubanks said.
But what if you take all these precautions, and still run into a patch of ice?
“The worst thing you could do is slam on the brakes hard. If you begin to skid, step off the brakes, steer into the turn, and try to bring it to a controlled stop,” Wilbanks said.
If there are wrecks, you should call 911, and call THP to assist.
“They can call *THP, that is *847, if they’ve been involved in a crash on the interstate or main highways,” Eubanks said. “If they need assistance of any nature, they can call that same number.”
And finally, have a kit of items you might need if you find yourself stuck in traffic
“Keep a flashlight, blankets, water, something to eat, and a full tank of fuel too. You could be stuck somewhere for hours. If we can’t get to you, we can’t help you,” Wilbanks said.
THP recommends driving on the interstates and main highways, as those are closely monitored and tracked.
You can follow @THPJackson for updates on road conditions.