New chain requirements on Lake Tahoe-area highways in Nevada
Safe winter driving tips
Only travel in winter weather when necessary, leave enough time to safely reach your destination and plan your route to avoid snowy/icy areas and steep hills
Before driving, check weather and road conditions by 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
Turn on headlights to see and be seen
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 vehicles and pump the brakes if necessary on non-ABS vehicles
Always comply with all posted chain 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
Always carry tire chains, especially when traveling in mountain passes or typically snowy areas
Remember, 4-wheel-drive vehicles cannot necessarily turn or stop any better than 2-wheel-drive vehicles
Source: Nevada Department of Transportation — visit www.nevadadot.com/safety/safe-winter-driving for more information about winter driving safety.
Motorists traveling over Tahoe-area passes in Nevada will need more than snow tires.
Under changes enacted by the Nevada Department of Transportation, vehicles will either need to have tire chains, or snow tires and be four-wheel or all-wheel drive in order to traverse certain passes when chain requirements are in place.
Previously all vehicle types were permitted during chain requirements as long as they had chains or snow tires.
The change, according to NDOT, is aimed at enhancing mobility and safety on roughly 50 miles of highway in the Tahoe area. The new policy applies to: U.S. 50 (between Glenbrook and Carson City); Nevada Route 431 (Mt. Rose Highway); and Nevada Route 207 (Kingsbury Grade).
The change — intended to help ensure all vehicles on the road are prepared for winter driving — does not apply to other highway corridors in the state.
Twenty roadside chain restriction signs have been updated to reflect the change, according to NDOT. The revised requirements also will be reflected on the nvroads.com road conditions website.
More than 300 crashes occurred on mountain highways over the course of three recent winters, according to NDOT. Statewide, as many as 2,000 crashes occur every year due to unsafe driving in snow, ice and other wet conditions, such as driving too fast for conditions or following too closely.
Updated state road conditions, including winter road closures and incidents, are available by dialing “511” or visiting nvroads.com.
In California, there are three different levels of chain requirements. Visit dot.ca.gov/cttravel/chain-controls for more information.