Icy roads force truck drivers to sleep at rest stops overnight

Drivers warn others to go slow and be cautious

ABILENE, Texas - It is no secret the icy roads have posed major problems for drivers across the Big Country.

Many truck drivers spent the night at rest stops along Interstate 20 to wait out the worst of the winter storm and take a break from the stressful, hazardous roads.

One truck driver made the decision to sleep at a rest stop just outside of Abilene after slipping and sliding to avoid two other semi-trucks that had stopped on the interstate. He said "that was enough for me, so I just pulled it on over and got off the road."

Another truck driver said he had not slipped at all during this winter storm but he has had a scary experience in the past and wanted to remind drivers to take extra care this weekend.

You just need to be careful and when it gets too bad you just got to pull off and park it - there's no sense in taking a chance because once you start sliding, you don't stop, you just keep going," he said.

Texas Department of Transportation crews have been monitoring the roads and plowing the ice, but even pre-treated roads can be dangerous.

If you feel you must drive on the ice, TxDOT has the following tips for drivers:

• Reduce speed. Speed limits are based on normal road and weather conditions, not winter road conditions. Do not use the cruise control.

• Maintain at least three times the normal following distance on snow or ice.

• Watch carefully for personnel and equipment treating roadways, and stay at least 200 feet back if you are behind a snow plow.

• Use extra caution on bridges, ramps, overpasses and shaded areas as they tend to freeze first.

· Carry extra warm coats, gloves and boots in case you get stranded.

• If you start to slide, ease off the gas pedal or brakes. Steer into the direction of the skid until you feel you have regained traction then straighten your vehicle.

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