VDOT News - Statewide



Marshall Herman


Jan. 19, 2022

Weather events to impact roads statewide; VDOT crews prepare for changing conditions across the Commonwealth

RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Department of Transportation crews are preparing for two winter weather events this week, one beginning tonight and another Friday, Jan. 21. Forecasts predict rain and snow beginning tonight through Thursday, Jan. 20. The second event begins Friday and is expected to bring significant snow accumulation, particularly to the southeastern part of the state, making travel extremely hazardous. Motorists must stay off the roads starting Friday morning through the weekend.

The safest place during a storm is inside. Residents must refrain from driving during and immediately following winter weather. If travel is unavoidable and absolutely necessary, drivers must plan to complete travel before snowfall begins and remain off the roads until they are passable.

Sub-freezing temperatures are expected nightly, which will make roads susceptible to icing and refreeze. Areas where wind circulates more freely, such as bridges and overpasses typically freeze first. Anything that looks wet should be treated as if it could be ice and driving will be treacherous.

Crews have begun pretreating interstates and primary and major secondary roadways ahead of the storm in areas where the process will be effective. Across the Commonwealth, crews also stand ready with necessary equipment and adequate materials to plow and treat affected areas during and after precipitation falls.

Key reminders:

  • Stay home during inclement weather. Avoid nonessential travel.
  • If snow or ice is on the road, conditions are hazardous.
  • If travel is unavoidable:
    • Plan to reach your destination before inclement weather begins
    • Review forecasts along your entire route and plan your travel around the weather
    • Review and be familiar with alternative routes to your destination
    • Ensure headlights are on and speed aligns with conditions
    • Keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind the vehicle ahead of you
    • Accelerate and decelerate slowly
    • Brake very lightly to keep your tires from slipping on pavement; do not pump anti-lock brakes
    • Allow crews time and room to treat roads and do not pass snowplows
    • Keep an emergency winter weather kit in your vehicle including food, water, first aid materials, tools and blankets in the event of a breakdown or stoppage
  • Visit 511virginia.org for the latest road conditions before traveling. If possible, avoid travel until precipitation stops and road conditions improve.

For more information on winter weather travel, visit virginiadot.org/travel/snow.asp.


  • To report hazardous road conditions or talk to a customer service representative, call VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623) or visit online at https://my.vdot.virginia.gov.
  • VDOT recently partnered with Waze to add a new feature to the navigation software app that allows users to report, in real-time during winter weather, when a road has not been plowed. It will also inform travelers when they are approaching a road that has been identified by other drivers as unplowed.
  • Traffic information is also available on Twitter @511statewideVA; for general VDOT information, follow @VaDOT.


Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: Jan. 19, 2022