More Shoppers on The Roads, Possible Snow Have Law Enforcement On High Alert

By Jen Kastner
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND- Christmas is just a few days away. Now is the time when last-minute shoppers take to the roads to get started. With snow moving in, getting those gifts might be tough.

On Thursday, the roads were clear. However, Friday might bring with it some snowflakes.

"Throughout Friday and into Saturday morning at around 6 a.m. will probably be the best time to see snow and we're probably looking at a dusting to around two inches maximum but we could see a light dusting on the ground," NewsWest 9 Meteorologist, Greg Rule, said.

Snow could be on the forefront. It may be pretty, but it's quite possibly one of the worst weekends to deal with it.

"Whenever you have bad weather coupled with people who are in a hurry to get their shopping finished and get them wrapped, that can be a potential for additional traffic crashes," DPS Trooper, John Barton, said.

The malls are packed. With just a few days left until Christmas, they'll only get worse. Bring snow into the picture, add in cell phones, texting, out-of-town family and a high level of stress and you're asking for trouble.

Trooper Barton says, "Most of the people when you look at it nationally will focus 50% of their attention on their driving when it should be 100%."

Matthew Sotelo says he'll be staying in. To him, it's not worth the risk.

"Luckily, I don't have any kids. But, those who do have kids are out there shopping with them and when you have drivers that can't drive, it's kind of scary," Sotelo said.

With the expected conditions, the Department of Public Safety is on high alert.

"Just because it doesn't look like ice or snow doesn't mean there couldn't be some slick spots and that's when you have some problems. It's when you hit those and don't realize it," Barton said.

DPS says keep additional stopping distance from other cars while driving. Should your car spin out, don't slam on the brakes. Take caution when driving on bridges because the wind blowing over and under the concrete keeps those bridges cold and they can have ice.

DPS also says that if you've got to go out, make sure you slow down.

"If they don't have to drive, don't. However, if they do need to travel because of the holiday, [they should] give themselves plenty of time," Barton said.