GDOT urges homeowners to shut off sprinklers, avoid black ice in neighborhoods

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - As families in the Valley experience cooler weather with winter approaching,  the Georgia Department of Transportation wants to warn drivers about their sprinklers at home, and the danger they can pose on neighborhood streets.

That's why their asking families across the Valley to turn off their automatic sprinkler systems before they spray overnight. The thin mist they leave could create a layer of black ice.

"I'm definitely aware now," said James Ogburn.

Ogburn, who was raised in the state of Washington, said he's had his own close encounters with black ice, and that experience means that he's now taking some extra precautions.

"Keeping a little extra distance, and maybe going a little slower out on the roads when the conditions are bad," he said. 

GDOT wants all drivers to take those precautions, saying black ice can still be dangerous even for an experienced driver, or drivers who've lived in the south for some time, and may not be used to driving in freezing or near-freezing conditions.

"Of course, you don't want to be late to work, you don't want to be late to things," Ogburn said.  "But, at the same time, take it easy, because life is short and you want to actually enjoy the moments you're in, not so much speed to the next one."

GDOT said over the years it has responded to several vehicle accidents across the state, and many resulted from black ice caused directly by sprinkler water.

And because black ice form could anywhere, GDOT also wants drivers to be aware while they're on major roads, including I-185, and U.S 80, U.S. 280 and U.S. 431, especially in the early morning hours when it's dark outside.

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