DOT: Avoid Travel As Winter Weather Is Predicted Across Northern Mountains


The New Mexico Department of Transportation District Five Maintenance Engineer is discouraging travel as winter weather is predicted across northern mountains.  Maintenance crews are pretreating highways for the upcoming storm, however, it is impossible to prevent ice in every location despite round the clock efforts.

The National Weather Service forecast hazardous weather outlook in parts of central and northwest New Mexico until Feb. 17.

“Our crews work extremely hard to keep our roads clear of snow and ice; however, it’s important for drivers to remember to drive safely during inclement weather,” said District Five Maintenance Engineer Ken Barnett. “We strongly encourage all motorists avoid driving, or adjust travel plans if possible, which may mean driving slower, obeying road closure signage, which could possibly prevent a crash from occurring.”

NMDOT offers the following recommendations for safe winter driving:

  • Wear your seatbelt.
  • Slow down and leave extra space between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
  • Use brakes carefully.  It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.
  • Don’t crowd the plow. If you find yourself behind a snowplow, be patient and give the driver plenty of room to do his job.
  • Use extra caution on bridges, ramps, overpasses, and shaded areas since they are likely to freeze first and stay frozen the longest.
  • Make sure your vehicle is maintained properly.
  • Remember that bridges often freeze faster than the roads and take longer to thaw.

The department’s road condition website is updated around the clock and is linked to our 511 road condition hotline.  The NMRoads mobile app can be downloaded to keep travelers updated on the go.