Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews throughout the Abilene and Brownwood Districts are preparing for a brief winter storm that is expected to drop temperatures and small amounts of frozen precipitation Thursday evening and Friday morning.

The National Weather Service has briefed state and local officials to prepare for the impacts of the weather, which could include snow, sleet and freezing rain from the Panhandle to southeast Texas. Accumulations are expected to be minimal, but even small amounts of moisture can cause slick conditions on roadways, bridges and driveways. TxDOT is preparing equipment and deicing materials, and crews will work in 24-hour shifts to treat and monitor roadways as necessary.

Drivers are urged to check road conditions before deciding to drive or to delay travel plans if possible. Those who must get out should follow these guidelines:

•    Reduce speed. Speed limits are based on normal road and weather conditions, not winter road conditions.

•    Maintain at least three times the normal following distance on snow or ice.

•    Watch carefully for trucks and equipment treating roadways, and keep your distance.

•    Use extra caution on bridges, ramps, overpasses and shaded areas as they tend to freeze first.

•    If you start to slide, ease off the gas pedal or brakes. Steer into the direction of the skid until you feel you have regained traction then straighten your vehicle.

More winter weather safety information can be found at www.txdot.gov – key word: winter driving. For road conditions, call the TxDOT road conditions hotline at 1-800-452-9292 or check updates on Facebook and Twitter.

The Brownwood District includes: Stephens, Eastland, Comanche, Brown, Mills, Coleman, McCulloch, San Saba and Lampasas Counties.