State Troopers Warn of Black Ice For Holiday Travel

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- AAA predicts more people are traveling this year than ever. The agency estimates most are hitting the highway.

That's why West Virginia State Police troopers said they're watching the roads and reminding people to play it safe.

The roads are a little cramped this Christmas.

"Everyone's excited, everyone wants to be with their family, everybody wants to get home," West Virginia State Trooper Will Hash said.

Hash said mixing speed, freezing temperatures and the holiday cheer can mean crashes.

"I don't think snow-covered roads will be much of a factor, but I think the black ice will be," he said.

AAA predicts about 86 million people will be on the road nationwide.

That's why Hash and many others are on patrol.

"The presence of just being seen has a major impact," Hash said.

Drivers like Simon Prater have already gotten a taste of what Santa's sleigh will be up against.

"Kentucky was fine until I got to just probably 30 miles outside of Ashland," Prater said.

Prater said slick spots made him remember the basics.

"Be cautious of the speeds, probably drive more defensively, be aware of everybody behind you," Prater said.

"Temperature's 23 degrees outside, so it's perfect freezing temperatures," Hash said.

He said taking a little time can make sure you share the Christmas cheer instead of facing a slippery scare.

"Hopefully today goes smooth, and everybody will have a great Christmas," Hash said, as the clock counts down to Christmas morning.

State troopers said if you find yourself losing control on ice, the best thing you can do is let off the gas and the brake and hold onto the steering wheel.

They say that can make a world of difference in keeping you safe.

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