Winter Driving Tips
If you’re going to the snow country, here are some tips to help ensure the safety of your family. Before leaving, ensure that you are prepared for the trip to prevent unnecessary hardships.
– Your vehicle’s brakes, defroster, heater and exhaust system should be checked for proper working condition. The radiator should be checked and there should be an adequate amount of antifreeze.
– The windshield wipers need to be in good order and a nonfreezing washer fluid in the reservoir to prevent and remove ice.
– Make sure your tires are in good condition. To qualify in a chain control area as a snow tire, the designation Mud & Snow, or an abbreviation such as “M-S” or “m/s” or “M+S”, “ALL-SEASON” or “ALL-TERRAIN” will be marked on the sidewall. A tire marked as described is not considered a snow tire unless it has a minimum 6/32″ tread depth.
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– Law requires motorists carry chains no matter what kind of vehicle they drive or what the weather forecast when traveling in snow country. Even four-wheel drive vehicles are required at times to chain up. Practice putting the chains on at home, as it is much easier to learn in your garage than along side a busy snow-covered highway. Also, many motorists have found out too late that they bought the wrong size chains or they have parts missing.
– Have along some food, drinking water, blankets and a flashlight in case you have problems or get caught in a traffic delay. Also have plenty of clothing that you can put on or take off in layers to ensure comfort.
– When driving in snowy or icy conditions you must be aware of your surroundings and be much more cautious and alert. Never lock up the brakes as your vehicle will slide and you will be will lose steering capabilities.
– Slow down and increase the distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead. Stopping distances are much longer on snow or ice. Four-wheel drive vehicles can provide better traction and steering capabilities but they will not stop a vehicle any faster.
– Raise your visual horizon by looking further down the road. This will enable you to see any hazardous situations and any vehicles in the opposing lane having difficulty so that you can take evasive action.
– Always buckle up and remember drinking and driving don’t mix especially during inclement weather conditions.
– If you are involved in non-injury collision and the vehicles can be driven, move them to a safe place to wait for a law enforcement officer.
– The speed limit in a chain control are on an interstate highway is 30 mph. On all other roads the speed limit is 25 mph.
– Studded tires are permitted in California from November 1 until April 30.
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