STATE: NCDOT warns public that heavy rainfall could make travel treacherous

As North Carolina braces for a soggy weekend, drivers should pay extra attention and slow down on what could be slick roads.

Forecasters are predicting widespread rainfall, scattered flash flooding and possibly downed trees. The N.C. Department of Transportation reminds motorists to be ready for sudden stops, as well as to increase the following distance behind vehicles and allow more time to reach their destinations safely. Drivers should never proceed onto a roadway covered with water.

This short NCDOT video offers more tips while navigating in rainy weather.

Before venturing out, people should check the department’s traveler information website, DriveNC.gov, which is mobile friendly, for current road conditions.

100 Deadliest Days of Summer

Highway safety is a top priority for NCDOT, which wants to draw attention that Memorial Day marks the beginning of what is known as the 100 Deadliest Days, when the number of deadly crashes involving a teen driver historically rise. From Memorial Day to Labor Day in 2021, more than 13,000 crashes involved teen drivers. Of those, 29 teens died and 2,600 were injured.

The major factors for most of those crashes were speeding, distracted driving, alcohol usage and not wearing a seat belt. They are preventable deaths and crashes, so state highway officials urge parents to talk with their teens about these kind of dangers, and how to drive more safely.

Seat-belt crackdown

The N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program, an arm of NCDOT, is partnering with several law enforcement agencies, including the N.C. Highway Patrol, to beef up the enforcement of the state’s seat-belt laws. The Memorial Day “Click It or Ticket” campaign is underway through June 4.

Law enforcement reminds people that everyone in a vehicle needs to be in a seat belt or a child safety seat. It’s not just dangerous to ride unbelted. It can also be expensive. Violators can face a fine of $180 or more.

Holiday work zones

Because millions of Americans are planning to hit the road this weekend, the NCDOT has suspended most highway work and lane closures through 7 p.m. Tuesday. This pause, which will help reduce holiday congestion, does not apply for projects with long-term closures, such as for replacing a bridge.

For real-time travel information, visit DriveNC.gov or follow NCDOT on social media.