Icy Roads Ahead: How To Prepare Now For Houston Driving

Local officials are warning people to stay off the roads as much as possible tomorrow as another arctic cold front hits the Houston area. But if you do have to drive in icy conditions — there are some things you should know.

You wouldn’t think a tiny bit of ice on the road would be a big deal, but last Friday emergency crews responded to nearly 200 collisions.

Tuesday and Wednesday have the potential to be even worse.

There are always people who have to be on the roads, even during weather emergencies. But AAA Texas Spokesperson Sarah Schimmer says there are things you can do to minimize your risk.

“If you know that your regular commute is 45 minutes, you might want to double or triple that to be safe. Local weather forecasters are predicting that roads might be wet, icy, and so it takes a little bit longer to get to your destination in those kind of conditions. If you do find yourself stranded, you want to make sure that you have kept your emergency car kit up to date.”

Schimmer suggests putting together that car kit tonight with items like a blanket or extra coat in case you get stranded, a bag of sand or cat litter to create traction on an icy road, an ice scraper, some extra cash, and a full tank of gas.

“If you find yourself in a skid, one of the things that you want to do is follow the motion of the skid. If you brake really hard you’re going to lose control, if you try to steer out of a skid you’re going to lose control.”

If you do find yourself stuck on an icy overpass, Schimmer says use your best judgement about whether to try to keep driving or to stop and wait for the ice to melt.

For a winter weather driving guide, visit “How to go on Ice and Snow.”


Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson


Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Laurie has covered a wide variety of topics for HPM, including the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and numerous elections. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and has been...

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