Winter Driving Tips From The California DOT

The California Department of Transportation has some helpful driving tips for winter driving:

• Plan your driving trips in advance.
• Avoid driving when fatigued.
• Carry chains if traveling into the mountain areas and stay alert for chain control
• Check weather conditions for your travel route (and time) before you begin any trip.
• Plan your arrival time at a destination by taking into account any delays due to slower
traffic, reduced visibility, accidents, etc.
• Inform someone of your route and planned arrival time.
• Choose warm and comfortable clothing. If you need to remove any layers of clothing,
NEVER do so while driving.
• Warm up your vehicle BEFORE driving off. It reduces moisture condensing on the inside
of the windows.
• NEVER warm up your vehicle in a closed garage.
• Carry a cell phone, charger, blankets, water and snacks.
• Buckle up before you start driving. Keep your seat belt buckled at all times.
• SLOW DOWN! – Posted speed limits are for ideal travel conditions. Driving at reduced
speeds is the best precautionary measure against any misfortune while driving on
slippery roads.
• Do not use cruise control. Winter driving requires you to be in full control at all times.
• Drive with low-beam headlights on. Not only are they brighter than daytime running
lights, but turning them on also activates the tail lights. This makes your vehicle more
• Lengthen your following distance behind the vehicle ahead of you. Stopping distance on
an icy or wet road is double that of stopping on a dry one.
• Steer with smooth and precise movements. Changing lanes too quickly and while
braking or accelerating can cause skidding.
• Use extra caution when crossing traffic or intersections during foggy weather.
• Be patient and pass other cars only when it is safe to do so.