NDOT prepares to keep drivers safe, connected during winter weather
- Vehicle Fluid Levels
- Tire chains
- Ice scraper
- Snow shovel
- First-aid supplies
- Extra clothes/gloves
- Non-perishable food/water
LAKE TAHOE, Calif./Nev. – Now that winter weather has hit northern Nevada, the Nevada Department of Transportation reminds drivers to travel safely and avoid unnecessary trips during inclement weather.
Statewide, nearly 4,000 crashes occurred in inclement weather between Oct. 1, 2022 and April 30, 2023. This includes 22 crashes involving fatalities. Many of the crashes were due to unsafe driving in snow, ice and other wet conditions, such as driving too fast for conditions, following too closely, or failing to maintain a lane and overcorrecting.
Particularly in winter weather, motorists are reminded to drive slowly for conditions and leave space between their vehicle and others. Wearing a seat belt and focusing on the road are other important driving tips for any type of weather.
NDOT begins annual winter preparations in August by readying more than 80 snowplows and other pieces of snow and ice equipment for use in snow removal across northwestern Nevada. NDOT also stockpiles salt and sand, to be used on winter roads for increased traction and safety. The sand is combined with salt and wetted with brine to create more dense sand that keeps roads ice-free at lower temperatures and will not as easily bounce off roadway surfaces.
As storms move in, NDOT maintenance personnel closely monitor professional meteorological forecasts detailing wind, rain, snow, ice and other weather on state roads. Staff also utilize more than 50 Road Weather Information System meteorological stations located along northwestern Nevada roadways to provide detailed reports of current air and pavement temperature, as well as moisture. The updated weather readings help pinpoint precise sections of roads needing brine, salt and sand or snow removal.
During major winter storms, crews work in 12-hour shifts, rotating personnel to provide 24 hour-a-day snow removal.
Like many public and private employers, NDOT is experiencing staffing shortages approaching 30 percent vacancy rates for highway maintenance workers in northwestern Nevada. NDOT will remain dedicated to keeping highways safe for drivers by first prioritizing snow removal on major thoroughfares such as interstates. The department is also hiring for temporary winter highway maintenance workers to help keep winter highways clear.
Updated state road conditions, including winter road closures and incidents, are available by dialing “511” or logging on to nvroads.com before driving. Drivers can also view live traffic cameras and sign up for free traffic alerts for their state road commute.
Winter Driving Safety
Winter driving safety tips are available at dot.nv.gov/winter.
∙ Only travel in winter weather when necessary, leave enough time to safely reach your destination and plan your route to help avoid snowy/icy areas and steep hills.
∙ Before driving, check weather and road conditions by logging on to http://www.nvroads.com, checking the Nevada 511 app or dialing 511 within Nevada (or 1-877-NV-ROADS outside of Nevada).
∙ Share your travel itinerary so others know when to expect you.
∙ Remove snow and ice from all vehicle windows, mirrors, lights, turn signals and license plates.
∙ Buckle up.
∙ Turn on headlights to see and be seen.
∙ Do not rely solely on GPS to find alternate routes, as it could lead to unmaintained roadways or hazardous areas.
∙ Turn off cruise control.
∙ Avoid quick starts, stops and fast turns. Accelerate, brake and steer smoothly and gradually.
∙ Reduce speed. Speed limits are based on normal road and weather conditions, not winter road conditions.
∙ Do not slam on brakes. Apply steady pressure on ABS-equipped (antilock braking system) vehicles and pump the brakes if necessary on non-ABS vehicles.
∙ Always comply with all posted traction device requirements.
∙ If your vehicle has snow tires, install and use them between October 1 and April 30.
∙ Keep additional distance from other vehicles.
∙ Watch carefully for snow removal equipment.
∙ Do not pass without good distance and sight clearance.
∙ Use extra caution on bridges, ramps, overpasses and shaded areas- they may freeze first.
∙ Maintain a high fuel level.
∙ If vehicle begins to skid, steer in direction of slide and slowly remove foot from accelerator.
∙ Be aware of black ice.
∙ If parked or stuck in snow, leave window slightly cracked for ventilation and make sure vehicle exhaust system is clear of snow.
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