NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – I-40 is closed in both directions near Clines Corners due to multiple vehicle crashes, according to NMRoads. The stretch of I-40 that is closed stretches from two miles east of Clines Corners to 19 miles east of Clines Corners. Emergency crews are working to clear the area. Drivers are encouraged to find an alternate route and use caution.
U.S. 64 is also closed between Raton and Clayton due to severe weather conditions. High winds and heavy snow are impacting the roads. Drivers are asked to avoid the area and use caution.
AAA, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, the National Safety Council and the New Mexico Department of Transportation offer tips to stay safe while driving in winter weather.
- Be prepared before you go: Make sure you have plenty of fuel and adequate windshield washer fluid and antifreeze. Check the inflation on your tires and remove snow from your vehicle, including headlights and taillights. Keep a flashlight, phone charger, sand or kitty litter, blanket, first aid supplies, water, and snacks in the vehicle.
- Plan ahead: Check the forecast and the latest road conditions by calling 511 or visiting http://nmroads.com. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination and expect delays.
- Wear your seatbelt: Make sure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained.
- Take it slow: The best crash prevention on snow and ice is to SLOW DOWN.
- Avoid using cruise control: Never use cruise control when the roads are slick. It can reduce your control of the vehicle if your tires begin to skid or slip
- Steer in the direction of a skid.
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly.
- Increase your following distance.
- Know your brakes: It takes more time to stop in adverse conditions and stopping too quickly can cause drivers to lose control of the vehicle.
- Use caution on bridges, overpasses, and shaded areas: these areas typically freeze first and take longer to thaw.
- Don’t crowd the plow or other drivers: Allow plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you. It requires up ten times the distance to stop in snowy and icy weather. Keep at least a 50 foot or five car length distance between you and a snow.
- Don’t stop if you can avoid it.
- Don’t power up hills.
Roads are snow-covered at Raton Pass and in the rest of the northeast highlands and eastern plains. Snow will push southward through eastern New Mexico during the day, ending by tonight.