Winter driving: 10 tips to be safe when on Tahoe’s dangerous winter roads | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Winter driving: 10 tips to be safe when on Tahoe’s dangerous winter roads

Kevin MacMillan
kmacmillan@sierrasun.com

Truckee-Tahoe’s main highways, such as Interstate 80, seen here, can become very difficult to navigate during and after snowstorms, so it’s important to take it easy, drive slow and be prepared. Don’t worry — you’ll arrive at your destination soon enough.

Accidents, traffic tickets, injuries: three ways to quickly ruin your winter weekend and freeze up personal finances.

With the winter season upon us at Lake Tahoe and Truckee — and more snow in the forecast throughout Thanksgiving Week 2016 — it's important to remind residents about the dangers of motoring the region's slippery slopes.

Don't be that driver with just a tiny portion of defrosted glass. Scrape all the windows from front to back. And for goodness sake, do NOT be that person flying around with a 2 feet of snow still clinging tot he top of your car, ready to fly off at any sudden stop.

And while you're at it, read though this list of 10 important items to check before driving snowy roads. It could save you time, money or even your life:

1. Brake It Down

Make sure your brakes, windshield wipers, defroster, heater and exhaust system are in top condition.

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2. Fluid Fruition

Check your antifreeze and be ready for colder temperatures.

3. View and Blue

You may need to add concentrated windshield washer fluid to the windshield washer fluid reservoir to prevent an icy windshield.

4. Check Your Tires

Make sure they are properly inflated and the tread is in good condition.

5. Always Carry Chains

Make sure they are the proper size for your tires and are in working order. You might want to take along a flashlight, chain repair links and gloves. Chains must be installed on the drive wheels. Make sure you know if your vehicle is front or rear-wheel drive.

6. Be Prepared

Other suggested items to carry in your car are an ice scraper or commercial de-icer, a broom for brushing snow off your car, a shovel to free your car if it is "snowed in", sand or burlap for traction if your wheels should become mired in snow and an old towel to clean your hands.

7. You Never Know

It is also a good idea to take along water, food, warm blankets and extra clothing. A lengthy delay will make you glad you have them.

8. Map It Out

Weather conditions may warrant detouring traffic from the main roadway. It is strongly suggested that drivers always keep an updated map containing the areas of travel.

9. Apps For That

If you have a mobile phone, pre-load the Caltrans or NDOT phone numbers for convenient, updated road conditions, or download their app.

10. Extra, Extra

Put an extra car key in your pocket. A number of motorists have locked themselves out of their cars when putting on chains and at ski areas.

More online

This information was compiled through the California and Nevada departments of transportation. To read more safe winter driving tips, visit the following websites:

Nevada: http://www.nevadadot.com/safety/winter/tips.aspx

California: http://www.dot.ca.gov/cttravel/winter.html

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