Nevada Department of Public Safety Winter Safe Driving Tips

Although Mother Nature hasn’t been too ferocious when it comes to winter-like driving on the valley floors yet in Northern Nevada, NHP sent out a few safety driving tips in anticipation of the projected storms this week:

1) Be certain your vehicle is prepared for winter driving by checking the proper fluid levels, battery, adequate mud and snow rated tires, tire pressure, etc…

2) Most tire shops and service centers will check tire pressure and the durability factor of your vehicle battery for free.

3) Take the time to remove snow and ice from the windshield, side windows, side mirrors, headlights, tail lights, and license plate before driving.

4) Keep in mind that primary routes and arteries are usually plowed first so secondary roadways and surface streets may cause challenging driving conditions.

5) Keep a safe following distance as it takes more distance to stop on icy/snow covered roads.

6) Speed too fast for conditions is usually the single most contributing factor for our calls for service (accidents, spin-outs, slide-offs).

7) Limit distractions to include talking on the cell phone, eating, talking, etc.

8) If you lose control of your vehicle and spin out, try and move your vehicle out of the travel lane as soon as possible to avoid being struck by another approaching motorist.

9) Bridges and shaded areas of the highway tend to ice up first, so pay extra attention to these roadway surfaces.

10) Roadway temperatures can be several degrees cooler than the outside air temperature, so if the roads appear to be just wet, consider them to be icy.

11) If you encounter a spin-out, don’t panic!! Heavy breaking and over-steering is a recipe for disaster. Ease off of the accelerator and attempt to steer into the direction of the skid.

12) When installing tire chains or cables, be sure your vehicle is well clear of any travel lanes.

13) Consider carrying an old jacket or coveralls in your vehicle; most motorists pay to have their chains put on, but generally remove them on their own. This will prevent you from soiling your good clothes.

Also, with a number of us celebrating the holiday season, here are a few more safety tips:

Don’t drink and drive
Designate a driver
Always wear a seat belt
RTC in Reno is providing free bus rides on New Years Eve

“Most of us plan on where we will be celebrating, scheduling a baby sitter, what we’ll be wearing, stopping by the ATM machine, etc.. so part of our planning should include who is going to drive home safely”

To sum it up; be prepared, pay attention at all times, and don’t be in a hurry.