National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

On average, weather-related vehicle crashes kill 6,253 people nationwide and injure more than 480,000 people each year. Slow down to stay safe if you must travel during periods of snow or freezing rain. If the temeprature outside is near freezing, it is safest to assume ice is present on roadways, and drive accordingly. 

If there is ice on power lines or tree branches, the weight may cause them to snap and fall. Avoid driving during those conditions if possible. If you must go out, choose a route with the least number of trees and power lines. Never touch a downed power line, and call 911 if you encounter one.

Here are some additional winter weather driving tips:

  • If you must travel out of town, and dangerous winter weather conditions are expected, be sure to tell your family or friends where you are going, your intended route, and time of arrival.
  • Make sure your gas tank is full. Carry a windshield scraper, jumper cables, a small shovel, flashlight, cell phone, blanket and additional warm clothing, drinking water, and high-calorie non-perishable food.
  • Don't panic if you become stranded. Call someone to let them know you are stranded. Do not try to walk to safety. Attach a cloth to your car antenna or mirror to indicate you need help. Use the dome light and flashers to make your vehicle more noticeable. 
  • Be alert for snow plows, and allow plenty of room for them to pass. If you are going around a plow, only do so when you can see the road ahead of the plow.
  • Check road conditions before you depart.

Winter travel on I-70. Photo by Beau Dodson
(photo courtesy Beau Dodson)