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Winter Driving

Winter Driving

Winter weather can create poor roadway conditions. While our team of professional snow plow drivers work to clear roadways, there are few things that motorists can do to help us!

PREPARE FOR YOUR TRIP

Leave early

Monitor weather conditions before you plan to leave, and expect any trip to take double the normal amount of time. Leave plenty of time to reach your destination safely. It’s not worth putting yourself and others in a dangerous situation just to be on time.

Use OHGO, ODOT's real-time traffic information website and mobile application, to see current traffic speeds, live traffic cameras, and current weather conditions.

Plan your route

Avoid steep upgrades and lightly traveled roads where deep snow drifts may form.

Clear your vehicle

Remove any snow on your vehicle’s windows, lights, brake lights, and signals. Make sure you can see and be seen while on the road.

Inspect your car

Check your vehicle’s tires, wiper blades, fluids, lights, belts, and hoses. A breakdown is bad on a good day – and dangerous on a bad weather day.

PROCEED WITH CAUTION

Slow down

When snow and ice are present, the posted speed limit is NOT a safe speed. Drive an appropriate speed for the conditions you encounter.

Increase following distance

It can take 3 to 10 times farther to stop on slick pavement than on a dry road. The faster you’re going, the longer it will take to stop. Allow a large space between yourself and the car ahead of you.

Accelerate and stop gradually

Never slam on your brakes or begin accelerating quickly in ice or snow. Slick pavement conditions can cause reduced traction and loss of control.

If you have anti-lock brakes, press the pedal down firmly and hold it. If you don’t have anti-lock brakes, gently pump the pedal. Either way, give yourself plenty of room to stop.

Maintain control of your vehicle

When driving on ice and snow, do not use cruise control and avoid abrupt steering maneuvers. When merging into traffic, take it slow. Sudden movements can cause your vehicle to slide.

Remain vigilant of your surroundings

Be aware of what’s going on well ahead of you. Actions by other vehicles will alert you to problems more quickly, and give you that split-second of extra time to react safely.

DON'T CROWD THE PLOW

Watch out for blind spots

The plow driver's field of vision is limited. As a general rule: If you can't see the plow truck's side mirrors, the truck driver can't see you. Always stay two to three car lengths behind the plow.

Ice and snow, take it slow

Snow plows travel well below the posted speed limit. Be patient and provide plow drivers the room they need to complete their work. Try not to pass the plow. Watch for sudden stops or turns.

Beware of snow clouds

Additional, plow trucks have a tendency to leave snow clouds as the push snow accumulations off the roadways, creating a limited visibility for drivers around them.