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Winter Weather Woes

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Sierra Nevada, CA – The stormy weather heading toward the Sierra Nevada this weekend could make the roads nasty. Several inches to a foot of snow could hit the high country according to the National Weather Service. Caltrans wants to make sure drivers are ready for the upcoming storm season, which typically brings high winds, heavy rains, and snow and ice in higher elevations. And don’t let the drought fool you.

“Especially with the lack of rain we forget that we have to winterize our vehicle,” says Caltrans Spokesperson Greg Lawson. “We take it for granted because we haven’t had that type of bad weather and we forget the tips and things we need to do to make sure our vehicles as well as ourselves are ready for the roadways ahead.”

Caltrans offers these tips:

  • Winterize your vehicle by checking:
  • Brakes
  • Coolant
  • Tires
  • Windshield wipers
  • Defroster/heater
  • Exhaust systems
  • Carry correct chains

Here are Caltrans’ driving tips:

  • Allow enough time for your trip.
  • Be observant of everything going on around you.
  • Remember – black ice is nearly invisible!
  • Keep your fuel tank full and your windows clear.
  • Drive as conditions permit – slower acceleration, slower speeds, and slower braking in winter conditions.
  • Reduce speed and leave extra room between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Use headlights, not just parking or fog lights in foggy, rainy, and snowy weather. Also remember that you must have your lights on when using your wipers.
  • If you get stuck, stay with your vehicle and wait for help.
  • If visibility diminishes to the point that you no longer feel safe driving, do not stop in the traffic lanes.

Before you head out on the roadways you can always find out the conditions on by clicking on traffic.