Washoe sheriff urges safety in off-highway driving

One of the drivers rescued in March by Washoe County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue...
One of the drivers rescued in March by Washoe County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue volunteers.(Washoe County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 5:51 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue teams rescued 25 stranded and unprepared motorists stuck on Dog Valley Road and Henness Pass Road in March.

That amounted to 186.25 rescue hours, most by search and rescue volunteers. Most of those rescued were from California and Nevada.

The sheriff’s office warned in January not to use either road as a detour for Interstate 80, even if a GPS takes them that way. Most of the March rescues were people who were recreating.

The sheriff’s office warned that rescuers save lives, not property. Vehicles will remain there until they can be safely towed.

The sheriff’s office provided these tips:

  • Leave enough time to safely reach your destination and plan your route to avoid snowy/icy areas and steep hills
  • Check weather and road conditions by calling 511 in Nevada
  • Wear weather-appropriate clothing
  • Maintain your car: check your battery, tire tread, windshield wipers, levels of no-freeze fluid in the washer reservoir and your antifreeze
  • Maintain a high fuel level in your gas tank—for EV drivers, plan your charging stations ahead of time
  • Keep a basic winter travel kit in the car: pre-charged portable cell phone charger, chains, a flashlight, jumper cables, shovel, snowbrush, ice scraper, water, road flares and a blanket
  • If you get stuck in the snow, leave a window slightly cracked for ventilation, and make sure the vehicle exhaust system is clear of snow

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