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Winter Driving Tips

1. You do NOT live in Nevada. You are NOT driving on salt flats.

2. Years of driving don't translate to "expert driver" status just as years talking won't make you a gifted orator. Be prudent.

3. Allow more distance for stopping. Use a stationary object to
judge distances. Once you reach the object begin to count:
"one - one thousand, two - one thousand", etc. Depending on
the condition of the road, the safe distance between you and the
vehicle ahead of you varies.

• Dry Pavement: minimum 2 second distance
• Wet Pavement: minimum 4 second distance
• Slippery Pavement: minimum 10 second distance

4. Stopping distances on wet pavement can be up to ten times farther than stopping distances on dry pavement. Stopping includes 3 components:

1. reaction distance*
2. braking distance
3. overall stopping distance

Approximate distances for wet pavement stops is as follows:

20 mph 20' 40' 60'
30 mph 30' 90' 120'
40 mph 40' 160' 200'
50 mph 50' 250' 300'
60 mph 60' 360' 420'
70 mph 70' 490' 560'

*An average driver needs 2/3 second to react to stimuli. Reaction times are longer for drivers who are ill, older, fatigued, distracted, or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. A delayed the reaction increases the total stopping distance.
• Don't scrape a porthole on your windshield. Clear ALL vehicle windows, headlights, taillights, mirrors and turn signals.
• Be polite (road rage is worst on Friday afternoons - surprise!)
• Give yourself enough time to reach your destination safely
• Know your route before you leave
• Check the weather forecast and road conditions for your route
• Drive with headlights on
• Have your vehicle winter-ready (check: fuel tank, washer fluid, spare tire, tire air pressure and wiper blades, anti-freeze, battery, have: kitty litter for traction, blanket, gloves, scraper, shovel, jumper cables, flashlight, cell phone, auto emergency kit)
• Drivers and passengers MUST wear seatbelts
• Lock all vehicle doors
• Keep hands at 3 and 9 when driving to avoid facial injuries related to air-bag deployment
• Don't "wash" you windows by tail gaiting and using spray from the vehicle ahead of you to wet your windows
• If you have a crash - formally known as an accident - pull to a safe place. The likelihood of a subsequent accident increases if you stay in the roadway.
• Yield to emergency vehicles by pulling to the right of the roadway
• Snow removal equipment takes up a lot of space. Give it to them
• Wipers, if ice or show covered, should be detached from windshield before turning them on to insure they are not damaged
• Avoid using cruise control
• Make sure someone knows WHO you're with, WHERE you're going, WHEN you'll arrive, your route of travel, license place and description of vehicle
• Make note of milepost markers or exits so you know your location. Use a GPS if possible.
• If stranded, stay with the vehicle and summon help


  • Joel DeSpain, 266-4897
  • MaryAnne Thurber, 266-4238