LUBBOCK, Texas – Maintenance crews have been working overtime for the past few severe weather days to improve our safety on the roads.
Many of the most traveled roads in Lubbock, like Loop 289 or Marsha Sharp Freeway, are taken care of by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). Any roads outside of city limits are controlled by the county. Jennifer Davidson, Lubbock County’s director of public works, said they try to stay prepared for weather like this.
“We have about 20 pieces of various equipment for our snow and ice removal,” Davidson said. “It’s trucks, it’s blades, motor graders, front-end loaders, salt spreaders, and snow plow attachments for our trucks.”
Davidson said the county uses a salt brine on its most vulnerable and highly trafficked intersections during winter weather.
“With snow on the road, there are efforts that can remove the snow from the pavements or from the roadways, but if it’s ice, that is not easily removable,” Davidson said. “Once that moisture freezes, then there’s no way to remove it. You can enter into pretreatment efforts. Lubbock County does use a sand salt mixture on some of our roadways to help with that.”
As of Wednesday morning, the Lubbock Police Department said they’ve responded to 86 collisions since Monday, with 22 of those having injuries. Over in surrounding counties, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) confirmed they’ve seen at least six deadly crashes, two of which were caused by the bad weather.
“Some of them have been weather-related and if folks would’ve just slowed down a little bit, it might’ve changed the outcome of some stuff, but some of them haven’t been,” said Sgt. Johnny Bures with DPS. “Some of them have failed to yield right of way, so really make sure that we’re paying attention that we’re not speeding and we’re not driving distracted.”
Sgt. Bures said it’s easy to feel confident on the frozen roads, especially if you aren’t sliding, but it only takes a split second for a patch of ice to take control of your car.
“If you do have to get out, then just watch your speed and watch out for the drivers around you,” Sgt. Bures said. “Make sure that they’re going to come to a stop and that they’re stopping completely before the intersection, and give yourself time to stop also.”