IDAHO TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT'S WINTER MAINTENANCE
Drivers' Winter Responsibilities
HOW CAN DRIVERS HELP WHEN THE ROADS ARE BEING CLEARED?Use caution when driving in winter conditions, and cooperate with the highway workers that clear the roadways. Here are some additional safety tips:
• Remain two car lengths behind snowplow trucks for every 10 mph you drive. Sand being spread by trucks can damage your vehicle.
• Do not pass a snowplow unless it is absolutely necessary. If you must pass, do so only when you can clearly see the road ahead. Do not pass on the side where the plow is spraying snow. If you do, the snow's force can knock your car out of control.
• Do not cut back immediately in front of a snowplow truck. The plow blades are often covered with snow and can be difficult to see.
• Do not brake suddenly if you are traveling in front of a snowplow. The heavy vehicle cannot stop as quickly as an automobile.
• Do not abandon your car unless it is absolutely necessary. However, if you must, leave it as far off the road as possible. Abandoned cars can interfere with the road clearing process and can be extremely hazardous to snow removal equipment and the operators if they are hidden or buried by snow.
• Be aware of potential icy areas such as shady spots, bridges and overpasses. Since they are exposed on their undersides, bridges and overpasses are deprived of ground warmth and freeze more rapidly than the roadways leading to them.
• Before you begin your trip, make sure your car's windows, mirrors and lights are clear of snow. Keep your windshield washers filled with a non-freezing solution all winter.
• Keep an emergency winter driving kit in your car. The kit should include: flashlights with extra batteries, a first aid kit with a pocket knife, at least one blanket, an extra set of mittens, socks and a wool cap, a small sack of sand or cat litter for generating traction under the wheels, a small shovel, bottled water, booster cables, canned fruit, nuts and a non-electric can opener.
• Travel Smart. Travel Safe. Get updates on winter road and weather conditions, emergency closures and access to tourist information 24-hours-a-day by visiting 511.idaho.gov or dialing 511. If your phone company does not support 511, simply call 888-IDA-ROAD (888-432-7623) to access the 511 system.
WHAT SHOULD BE DONE IF A MEDICAL EMERGENCY OCCURS IN AN AREA WHERE THE ROADS HAVE NOT BEEN CLEARED?
In case of medical emergencies in areas where roads have not been plowed, the local or state police should be called. These agencies will work with search and rescue personnel and ITD to respond to emergencies.