Avoiding accidents during hazardous driving conditions
EL PASO, Texas —
El Paso surface streets and highways may be hazardous with the upcoming wintry weather.
"It's chaos,” Terry Meza of West El Paso said.
"It's no easy pickle. That's for sure,” Fernando Onate of West El Paso said.
The wet and possible icy conditions can make the simple task of going to the pharmacy a little more challenging.
"People aren't very used to this kind of weather,” Paul Melton of West El Paso said.
Some drivers say they're taking their time over the next couple of days.
"I just go the speed limit, make sure my brakes and tires are good and just pay attention,” Paul Burroughs of West El Paso said.
"Leave early, don't rush,” Patricia Frei of West El Paso said. “If you're going to be late, it's no big deal. It's better to be safe than sorry."
El Paso police say they received 81 accident-related calls before noon Wednesday. One of the biggest issues on the roads was a jackknifed semitruck on I-10 East and Paisano Street. Fuel spilled on the road, making it a traffic nightmare for commuters.
But, there could be other road worries with below freezing temperatures.
"Black ice commonly (is) caused when the temperature drops below 32 degrees and when the road gets wet,” Mary Arkel, driving instructor for El Paso Driving Academy said. “You will find it in high elevations like bridges or overpasses."
The El Paso Driving Academy says there are a few things you need to do when black ice is on the road.
"Keep your distance. Drive slow and if you happen to hit a black ice spot, steer against the road,” Arkel said. “Once you regain control of your tires, straighten out your tires, get your foot off the gas and then you can slow it down."
Some drivers are doing this when they get behind the wheel.
"I drive much slower during the rain,” Meza said. “Not much slower but I do drive slower."
"Be aware of where you're going, who's around you because you never know if the driver next to you is paying as much attention to the road as you are,” Melton said.
Arkel added drivers shouldn't slam on their brakes if someone hits black ice. This could cause people to spin out which could cause an accident.