counts in winter driving
When winter storms hit, maintenance crews from the Idaho
Transportation Department rely on their fleet of snow removal
equipment to clear the roadways.
Motorists are reminded to take extra caution when they encounter
snow removal equipment; snowplow blades force snow up and
off the road, potentially causing blizzard-like conditions
and reduced visibility for drivers following too closely.
Caution when driving in winter conditions, and cooperation
with highway workers clearing the roads, are key to snow removal
safety. Drivers can follow these additional tips for safe
Remain two car lengths behind snowplow trucks
for every 10 mph you drive. Sand being spread by trucks
can damage your vehicle.
Do not pass a snowplow unless it is absolutely
If you must pass, do so only when you can
clearly see the road ahead. Do not pass on the side where
the plow is spraying snow. If you do, the snow's force can
knock your car out of control. Do not cut back immediately
in front of a snowplow truck. The plow blades are often
covered with snow and can be difficult to see.
Do not brake suddenly if you are traveling
in front of a snowplow. The heavy vehicle cannot stop as
quickly as your automobile.
Do not abandon your car unless it is absolutely
necessary. If you must, leave it as far off the road as
possible. Abandoned cars can interfere with the road clearing
process and can be extremely hazardous to snow removal equipment
and the operators if they are hidden or buried by snow.
Be aware of potential icy areas such as
shady spots, bridges and overpasses. Since they are exposed
on their undersides, bridges and overpasses are deprived
of ground warmth and freeze more rapidly than the roadways
leading to them.
Before you begin your trip, make sure your
car's windows, mirrors and lights are clear of snow. Keep
your windshield washers filled with a nonfreezing solution
Keep emergency supplies in the car: flashlight
with extra batteries, first aid kit, pocket knife, blanket
or sleeping bag, mittens, socks and a wool hat, small sack
of sand or cat litter for generating traction under the
wheels, small shovel, bottled water, booster cables, energy
bars, brightly-colored scarf to attract attention in case
of an emergency, waterproof matches or cigarette lighter,
and map of the area where you plan to travel.
Before beginning a trip or long drive, know
the current road conditions and weather forecast. For statewide
highway information 24 hours a day, call the Idaho Road
Report at 1-888-IDA-ROAD (432-7623) or for Treasure Valley
residents, (208) 336-6600. Current conditions are also available
on the Internet at www.state.id.us/itd