When driving in winter weather conditions,
follow these safety tips:
• Slow down. Speed limits are posted for
safe travel under dry conditions. Don’t assume guidelines
are the same when driving in hazardous conditions. Leave a few
minutes early and allow extra time to get to your destination.
If you are in a hurry, remember it is better to be a few minutes
late than to put yourself and others at risk by driving too
fast for the conditions.
• Designate a sober driver. Designate a sober driver
before each party or event involving alcohol. Now through New
Year’s Day, Idaho law enforcement officers are increasing
patrols to take drunk drivers off the roads. The stepped-up
patrols are part of “You Drink, You Drive, You Lose!”
month (December 2004) as designated by Gov. Dirk Kempthorne.
• Buckle up. Always wear your seat belt. Make sure children
are properly secured in a safety seat that is right for their
age and weight. For more information go to itd.idaho.gov/ohs/ChildSafety
• Play it safe around snowplows. Keep at least two car
lengths behind snowplows for every 10 mph you drive. Do not
pass a snowplow or spreader unless it is absolutely necessary,
and do not cut back immediately in front of a snowplow. Never
drive through the snow being ejected from the plows –
the force of the spraying snow can throw your car out of control.
• Use caution. Be aware of potentially icy areas such
as shady spots and bridges. Also take caution against black
ice. Drive under the speed limit if conditions warrant caution.
• Prepare your car. Winter conditions increase the importance
of a well-maintained vehicle. Keep your car’s windows,
mirrors and lights clear of snow and ice. Make sure tires and
brakes are ready for the extra demands of winter. Visit a mechanic
and ensure your battery and fluid levels are appropriate and
heating units are working.
• Share your travel plans. Tell family or friends about
your travel plans, including estimated departure and arrival
times, route and where you will stay when you reach your destination.
Be courteous and call those who may be worried when you arrive
at your destination.
• Keep in contact. If you have a cell phone, make sure
it is charged and carry a list of emergency phone numbers.
• Be prepared. Keep emergency supplies in the car: flashlights,
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, rope, energy bars or other food,
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.