Safety tips offered for winter driving in Idaho
The Idaho Transportation Department encourages travelers
to use caution while driving on Idaho highways and roads this winter
and suggests travelers plan in advance for the challenges of winter
ITD offers the following tips to help prepare for safe
Plan ahead. Before heading out on
the state's roadways, dial 511 or visit 511.idaho.gov on the Web for
updates on winter road and weather conditions, emergency closures
and access to tourist information.
Slow down. Leave a few minutes early
and allow extra time to get to destinations. It is better to be a
few minutes late than put oneself and others at risk by driving too
fast for the conditions.
Buckle up. Wearing a seat belt is one of the easiest
safety precautions one can take. Also, children must be properly secured
in a safety seat that is right for their age and weight.
Use extra caution. Be aware of potentially
icy areas such as shady spots and bridges. Take caution against black
ice. Drive less than the speed limit if conditions warrant.
Drive safely around snowplows. Keep
at least two car lengths behind snowplows for every 10 mph of car
speed. Do not pass a snowplow, and never drive through the snow being
ejected from the plows because the force of the spraying snow can
throw a car out of control.
Be prepared. Winter conditions increase
the importance of a well-maintained vehicle. Keep car 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 car battery
and fluid levels are good and heating units are working.
Keep emergency supplies in the car:
flashlights, extra batteries, first aid kit, pocket knife, blanket
or sleeping bag, extra clothing, small sack of sand or cat litter
for generating traction under vehicle 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 a map of the area.
If carrying a cell phone, make sure
the battery is fully charged and have a list of emergency telephone
numbers available. Also, share travel plans with family or friends.
Include estimated departure and arrival times, route and destination.
Don't drink and drive. Idaho law
enforcement officers will be increasing patrols to catch and arrest
drunk drivers this season. Be safe by designating a sober driver before
traveling to any party or event involving alcohol.