MDOT encourages motorists to stay off roads

The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is advising all motorists to stay off roads in counties affected by winter weather conditions.

U.S. Highway 61 in Warren County, U.S. Highway 82 in Leflore County and State Route 463 in Madison County are showing significant icing. Motorists should avoid these areas for travel. For a list of Mississippi counties reporting ice on roadways, click HERE.

“The safety of the traveling public is MDOT’s number one priority,” said Melinda McGrath, P.E., MDOT executive director. “Traveling on roads and bridges where ice is present is unsafe, and all motorists should avoid travel.”

MDOT crews continue to work throughout the state to place salt and slag on affected roads and bridges so they remain passable.

“Counties in northeast Mississippi are experiencing slick conditions,” said Commissioner Mike Tagert, Northern Transportation District. “Salt is becoming ineffective, because the temperatures are below 20 degrees. Crews in these areas have ceased spreading salt to conserve supplies and will begin plowing and spreading asphalt slag where possible.”

If travel is necessary due to an emergency situation, safe driving techniques will assist in “surviving your drive” during winter weather. MDOT offers these safe driving tips:

  • buckle up for safety;
  • slow down, especially when driving in winter weather conditions;
  • allow more space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you;
  • brake early to allow plenty of time to stop;
  • brake gently to avoid skidding and never slam on the brakes;
  • turn on lights to be more visible to other motorists;
  • do not use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads;
  • stay alert and look farther ahead in traffic than you normally do; and
  • drive safely.