Iowa DOT News Release

Motorists Urged to Stay Alert For Icy Roads #iatraffic

Posted on: February 26, 2013

AMES, Iowa – Feb. 26, 2013; 5 p.m. update – Motorists are urged to monitor weather and road conditions before traveling – stay informed and plan ahead. Overnight tonight, north to northeast winds of 20 to 30 mph, with higher gusts, are expected to cause blowing and drifting snow, reducing visibilities to less than one-quarter mile at times.

The combination of light blowing snow and cold surface temperatures could result in icy roadways due to a phenomenon called wheel-track glazing. “Wheel-track glazing” is caused by warm tires trapping the ground-level light or blowing snow. As more vehicles travel over the same wheel tracks a glaze of ice forms, which becomes very slippery. The condition is very difficult for Iowa Department of Transportation crews to treat because the ice is continuously forming on heavily traveled roadways. See the Iowa DOT’s website for more about on roadway glaze and its consequences.

Increased driving risk: The consequences of wheel-track glazing can be serious for drivers; stopping distances are 10 times greater than on dry pavement and double that on packed snow.

Safety tips: Here are some tips for driving on icy roads, when travel is necessary. Postpone your trip if possible.

  • On “Ice and Snow… Take It Slow.”
  • Give your full attention to the driving task. Do not use a mobile communication device while driving.
  • Turn off the cruise control.
  • Put a safe distance between your vehicle and others sharing the roadway.
  • Keep your windshield clear of snow and ice.
  • Turn on your vehicle’s lights.
  • If you are starting to skid, tap the breaks. Do not push down and hold the brake pedal.

The Iowa DOT offers traveler information anytime by visiting, or calling 511 (within Iowa) or 800-288-1047 (nationwide).


To be part of the conversation, the Iowa DOT continues to urge travelers to provide feedback on Twitter and Facebook. Travelers who are stopped in a safe location are asked to take a moment to share observations and experiences.


  • Geotag photos and video: All smartphones have a global positioning system because of enhanced 911 service. If you are a social media user who likes to share photos and video during winter storms, be sure the geotagging feature on your mobile device is enabled. Then the location of where your photo or video was taken will be tagged.  
  • Follow us: All traffic-related news releases and traffic incident reports are posted on the Iowa DOT’s Twitter accounts. Search for either @iowadot or @statewideia511. 
  • Use the traffic hashtag: The Iowa DOT is using the hashtag #iatraffic during this event and recommends that other Twitter users do the same to find relevant tweets using that key phrase. 
  • Tell us what you are seeing: Your information could be invaluable to others who are considering travel. You can also be another set of eyes for the Iowa DOT.  When posting to Twitter, reference @iowadot in your post. Tag us in your posts and photos on Facebook.



Iowa highway in the evening