Oklahoma Highway Patrol has tips for drivers in snow

TULSA, Okla. — With a blast of winter weather headed our way, road crews in the Tulsa metro region are preparing for what Mother Nature may deliver this weekend.

Drivers who spoke with FOX23 on Friday say they’re ready for what’s heading our way.

“It’s been delayed for a while,” said Britton Weiland of Broken Arrow, “everybody’s been expecting it.”

Steven Bruner of Tulsa, meanwhile, has this this advice for drivers when hitting the roads in adverse conditions:

“Stay further back behind people and realize that you can slide and hit curbs,” he said, “just take your time and do it right.”

Bruner also cautioned drivers about the highways, as bridges and overpasses can become ice covered.

Timely advice ahead of this weekend’s rain and snow.

City and county road crews plan to have trucks out in full force as needed on the roads this weekend, laying down salt and sand as needed.

The city of Tulsa says it plans to have about 49 crews ready to treat the roads the county has 20 trucks at its disposal. ODOT says it will have 25 trucks ready to roll.

“Our first concern is always going to be overpasses and bridges,” said T.J. Gerlach, a spokesperson for ODOT, “just because those freeze first. Then we’ll move onto the rest of our numbered highways.”

FOX23 meteorologist Mike Grogan explains those areas are always a concern:

“You get air flow beneath them, and that means you can get that layer of ice and snow to form first on those so you want to slow it down when you come to a bridge or overpass, it’s more likely to be slick.”

Another concern is the potential for black ice.

“At night they’ll dip well into the 20′s,” said Grogan, “so if it’s just a wet road, any remaining moisture could end up becoming frozen and that could lead to some black ice potential into Saturday night and Sunday morning.”

The city, county and ODOT say they will be monitoring road conditions around the clock:

“Right now, our plan is to have some crews out very early in the morning, and they’re going to be checking our highways,” Gerlach said, “and treating any areas that they need to with salt, and they’ll put down plows if they need to as well.”

ODOT uses a salt and sand mixture, while the city uses straight salt.

Everyone we spoke with says they have plenty on hand.

Driver Carolyn Wilson of Sapulpa had this advice for anyone venturing out on the roads this weekend:

“Slow and steady always wins the race,” Wilson said.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lieutenant Mark Southall provided us with the following tips for driving in rain and snow when temperatures plummet:

  • Leave yourself plenty of extra time travel time
  • Maintain a good distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you
  • Drive at a reasonable speed for road conditions
  • Be cautious on bridges and overpasses which can become slick
  • Buckle up
  • Stay off your cell phone