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Winter Safe Driving Tips


Winter Safe Driving tips

Snowplow operators work hard for the safety of the traveling public, however, changing weather conditions could quickly alter road conditions and drivers need to pay special attention to ensure safe travel. To ensure that you arrive at your destination safely, it’s a good idea for motorists to follow some basic safety tips while behind the wheel:

  1. “Know Before You Go” by checking road conditions BEFORE you travel. Check the Travel Information Map or call 511.
  2. Turn on your lights. This will increase your visibility to other motorists and snowplow operators. Brush snow from your car that could cover your tail lights.
  3. Slow down and drive according to the conditions. Most winter crashes are caused by driving too fast for conditions. Snowplows typically move at slower speeds.
  4. Never drive through “white-outs” or “snow fog” caused by cross winds or plowing snow. Wait until you can see.
  5. Stay back at least five car lengths behind the plow, far from the snow fog and any sanding material being spread; snowplow operators will turn off the sander, pull over, or raise the plow for better visibility when it is safe to do so to allow traffic to pass.
  6. Be patient. Allow more time to get to your destination. Remember snowplows are working to improve road conditions for your trip.
  7. Know where the plow is on multi-lane roadways. The plow could be in either lane or on the shoulder.
  8. Be extremely cautious when passing a snowplow. They can be moved sideways by drifts and hard snow pack.
  9. Watch for plow trucks on interstate ramps and “authorized vehicle only” cross-overs.
  10. Don’t assume that you’ll have good traction because the road looks sanded. The sand can sink into the snow pack, leaving a slick surface.
  11. Never use cruise control on wet or icy roadways.

Make sure you are prepared for winter travel: check your vehicle, carry a winter survival kit, and adhere to winter travel trips.


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