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Public Works

Winter Weather Driving Tips

Avoiding driving in bad winter weather is the best tip of all, however, that is not always possible. Do try not to go out until the snow plows have had a chance to do their work, and do allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.

  1. Leave early! Expect any trip to take double the normal amount of time.
  2. Slow down! Slick pavement means reduced traction and possible loss of control. On snow or ice, the posted speed limit is not a safe speed.
  3. Turn on your lights! Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
  4. Keep your windshield clean.
  5. Cruise control is not recommended when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
  6. Increase following distance! It can take from 3 – 10 seconds longer to stop on winter-slick pavement than on a dry road. Allow a large gap between yourself and the car ahead of you.
  7. Stop gradually! Never slam on brakes in ice or snow.
  8. Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first.
  9. Keep a safe distance behind snowplows! Please stay at least 35 feet behind a snowplow during winter weather driving conditions!
  10. Remain alert. Snowplows generally drive slower than others.
  11. Don’t travel alongside snowplows. They can be moved sideways from hitting drifts or cutting through snow pack.
  12. Move as far away from the center line of the pavement as you safely can when meeting a snowplow on a two-lane road since blowing snow may obscure the actual width of the snowplow’s blade.
  13. Abandoned Vehicles. During snowplowing operations any vehicles abandoned within the public right-of-way in such a manner to obstruct operations and/or create a hazard will be removed at the expense of the owner.