CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Crews with the South Carolina Department of Transportation are working non-stop to make sure roads are safe to drive on the day after a winter storm dumped several inches of snow and ice.
SCDOT officials say they've made progress but warn that areas that remained in the shade most of Thursday were not able to fully melt, which will cause an issue Thursday night and into Friday when temperatures drop well below the freezing mark.
Snow plows have been able to move some of the snow, but some areas could not be completely cleared because of how compacted the coating on roadways has become over the course of the last 24 hours.
SCDOT has a "Winter Weather Road Conditions System" online which provides brief reports that are updated by SCDOT personnel in each district round the clock several times a day as conditions warrant.
Department officials say 3, 857 tons of salt has been applied to South Carolina roadways as well as 410 tons of sand and 194,800 gallons of salt brine.
The department says coastal county crews are actively addressing road and bridge conditions as necessary. Crews are continuing to monitor the Ravenel Bridge for ice and are working around the clock to deal with ice issues.
The problem over the next few days will be refreezing, when snow and ice melt during the day, but then refreeze into ice overnight.
- Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
- Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
- Make certain your tires are properly inflated. Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
- Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
- If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
- Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
- Always look and steer where you want to go.
- Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly.
- Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids.
- Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
- Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.Know your brakes.
Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
Don't stop if you can avoid it. There's a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling.
If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
Don't power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill as slowly as possible.
Don't stop going up a hill. There's nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
Stay home. If you really don't have to go out, don't. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don't tempt fate: If you don't have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.