KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — While driving, have you ever noticed the signs “bridges ice before roads”?

When temperatures fall below the freezing mark, bridges and highway overpasses will freeze faster than roads. This is a result of bridges being exposed to cold air on all sides.

While nearby roads will cool down, only the surface of a road is exposed to cold air temperatures. However, a bridge is affected not only on the surface but from the sides and from below. All this cold air causes the temperature of the bridges to fall much faster than nearby roads, creating a hazard for drivers during the winter months.

Mark Nagi, TDOT Region 1 Community Relations Officer, advises drivers to “use extreme caution, you may be on the roadway, and it looks dry and there isn’t any issue, but when you get onto those bridges and overpasses it can be a little slicker than what you see on the roadway.”

TDOT has over 300 pieces of equipment that will be responsible for clearing the roads in East Tennessee this winter.

Nagi added that TDOT crews “will be on the job beforehand; they’ll stay on their routes during that winter weather event, and that they’ll make sure that they stay on the job as long as necessary.”

Wherever you are driving this winter, remember to give TDOT crews plenty of space to work and ‘don’t crowd the plow’.