for winter travel conditions
Preparation for winter travel driving conditions can
make the difference between arriving safely at your destination or being
waylaid by an unexpected turn. Before heading out on Idaho’s roads
this winter, please consider implementing the following tips:
- Know before you go. Find out about road conditions and weather forecasts
before setting out. For weather-related highway information 24 hours
a day, call 1-888-IDA-ROAD (432-7623). Current conditions also are available
on the Internet at itd.idaho.gov (click on “Traveler Services”).
- Slow down. Speed limits are posted for safe travel under dry conditions.
Don't assume guidelines are the same when driving in hazardous conditions.
Allow plenty of space between you and the car ahead.
- Allow extra time. 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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 the mechanic and ensure your battery and fluid levels are up to
par 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.
Remember, the use of studded snow tires is legal in Idaho
through April 30.