The state of Texas is suffering under a historic winter storm that’s paralyzed the region and left millions shivering in the dark. These conditions have, apparently, caused some residents of the Lone Star State to take leave of their senses, as illustrated by a tweet from the Texas Department of Transportation warning people not to walk on snow-covered highways.
The tweet shows three individuals marching through the outside lanes of Interstate 35 in Austin as traffic passes by at their left. It’s a particularly scary sight – there’s a significant amount of snow on the road with little in the way of clear lanes or tracks to follow. Even an experienced winter driver, with a vehicle prepared for heavy snow with adequate tires, would consider the conditions difficult. Adding pedestrians to the mix, though, takes a difficult situation and makes it dangerous for all involved. It should go without saying that if you’re traveling on foot in Texas, roads are not your friend right now.
The government in Texas is currently warning all residents to stay off the roads, as it lacks the resources to clear the heavy snows that are blanketing the state. If you need to set out, take it from this seasoned Michigan driver:
- If your tires are worn, stay off the roads. Don’t even try to go out.
- Slow down. Slower than you think is necessary.
- Maintain sizable gaps to the car in front.
- Brake very early and apply light pressure. Don’t panic if the ABS pulses through the pedal.
- Apply gentle steering inputs. If your car starts to understeer (it’s going straight even though you have the wheel turned), apply very, very gentle brake pressure to change direction.
- If you start to slide, steer into it.
- Deep snow snow can pull a vehicle unexpectedly, so be very cautious about going through deeper sections or piles of snow in the middle of a lane.
- Four-wheel drive/all-wheel drive will not help you stop or turn.
- Make sure your vehicle has blankets, food, and water in case you become stranded.
The state of Texas is currently suggesting that any motorist that becomes stranded call roadside assistance at 1-800-525-5555. Texas remains under a state of emergency, with weather reports predicting additional snow and ice in the coming days.