Angelina County Sheriff’s Office offers tips for road safety during icy, rainy weather in East Texas

Angelina County Sheriff’s Office offers tips for road safety during icy, rainy weather in East Texas
Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 5:38 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 31, 2023 at 11:27 PM CST
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ANGELINA COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - With winter weather and more rain hitting East Texas in the coming days, staying safe on roads is important.

Capt. Alton Lenderman with the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office said there’s a few dangers motorists have to look out for.

“Biggest problem we normally have is overpasses,” Lenderman said. “Overpasses ice up very easily.”

32 degrees is when water starts to freeze, but often bridges and overpasses will turn icy when temperatures are under 40 degrees due to air flow beneath them.

“(Drivers) think if the temperature is not to the freezing yet that there won’t be ice,” Lenderman said.

And hitting ice while in a vehicle can often turn dangerous quickly.

“When the bridges ice before anybody realizes they are, they’re just going at their normal speeds and not really thinking about ice,” Lenderman said. “Then all of a sudden they’ll go over an overpass and hit that slick spot. It’s too late then.”

The reaction many drivers have when dealing with ice is the wrong one, Lenderman said.

“Most people have the reaction to hit the brakes,” Lenderman said. “That’s the last thing you want to do is hit the brakes.”

He said drivers should take their foot off the gas and counter-steer. When roads begin getting icy when it falls under 32 degrees, it’s advised to avoid using the brakes at all when coming up on a stop sign or an intersection and always let your engine slow you down by releasing the gas pedal.

And with East Texas receiving rain for several days, and more in the forecast, the Lufkin and Nacogdoches areas could see flooding.

Lenderman said to never cross a road that’s covered with water.

“They think they can make it through, that it’s just a little bit of water over the road,” Lenderman said. “Problem is the road might be washed out under it.”

He said even a bit could lead to perilous situations.

“It doesn’t take a whole lot of water if water is crossing a road and it’s swift to wash your car off of the road,” Lenderman said.