It is one of the busiest times of the year to travel and we could be dealing with wintry weather as we hit the roads across the panhandle this Thanksgiving. The Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) maintenance crews across the 17-county Amarillo District have been pretreating roadways with brine in anticipation of winter weather. The National Weather Service in Amarillo says the potential impact for Wednesday night into Thanksgiving Day includes freezing rain, sleet and snow across portions of the area, which could lead to hazardous travel conditions.

TxDOT is encourageing you to monitor the weather and roadway conditions before you head out. You can find updated road conditions at DriveTexas.org anytime before you hit the road. They would like drivers to help #EndTheStreakTX of daily traffic fatalities. Every day for the past 19 years, there has been at least one traffic-related fatality on Texas roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 94% of all traffic crashes are preventable.

  • Plan Ahead for Winter Travel:
    Plan your route and check road conditions at DriveTexas.org or by calling 800-452-9292.
  • Let others know your route and expected arrival time, building in extra time for delays.
  • Prepare your vehicle for winter driving by checking its antifreeze, battery, tires, windshield wipers and lights, including brake lights.
  • Assemble an emergency roadside kit to keep in your vehicle — (this should include water, snacks, blankets, etc., just in case.)
  • Slow down and increase your distance between other vehicles. It can take twice as long to stop on wet roads and up to 10 times as long on icy roads.
  • Do not use cruise control, as it may cause you to lose control on icy surfaces.
  • Accelerate and brake gently using slow, steady strokes to test traction.
  • Approach turns, bridges and shaded spots slowly. If you find yourself in a skid, stay calm and keep both hands on the wheel. Take your foot off the gas, look where you want to go and then steer in that direction.
  • Stay a safe distance away from snowplows and other TxDOT vehicles as they treat roadways. #DontCrowdThePlow