Tips for driving safely in stormy weather this season

Story by Catherine Stachowiak

With upcoming storms in the forecast it’s important to see what experts say about driving safely in poor weather conditions.

According to Caltrans it is best to make sure ones windshield wipers, defroster, brakes, heater and exhaust system are in top condition before embarking on ones journeys this winter. Check the tread and air level of your tires before any journeys.

Whether you are driving in snow or in rain, in case of detours, make sure you have more gasoline than needed. 

Photo by Catherine Stachowiak

You can also load Caltrans Highway Information Network number into your phone before traveling at (800) 427-7623 for updates on road conditions.

Always allow extra travel time wherever you go.  And be extra observant because of limited visibility, during storms, and use your headlights during the day.  Slow down your driving in rainstorms, and leave space between vehicles when driving, to avoid sudden stops.

Avoid driving in canyons at night whenever possible.  Keep distractions to a minimum while driving.  Avoid driving through puddles when possible and avoid using cruise control to evade hydroplaning. Avoid driving whenever rain is too heavy. It is better to check road conditions before hand and wait the storm out if you can.  

Do not drive through standing water because it would risk car damage and you could get stranded midway.  If water is too deep, turn around and find a different, less risky route.  If you do end up stranded because of deep water, call 911 and wait for assistance.

It is also advisable to check your car’s anti freeze level and use concentrated

windshield washer fluid in your windshield washer reservoir if you’re driving in snow conditions.

When driving in or near snow, use chains on, or carry chains within, your vehicle.

Make sure your tire chains are the proper size, for your vehicle tires, before hand.

If you’re going to the snow, carry a flashlight, windshield scraper and a shovel in case your car gets snowed in.  Other things to carry are extra food, water, warm blankets and extra clothes, rags for ones hands and an updated map for long road trips.

Try to keep an extra car key in your pocket, especially when driving to ski resorts in snow conditions. For more tips see

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