Traveling to Tahoe or Reno during the winter? Here are some winter driving tips

If you are planning on traveling to the mountains this winter, make sure you and your vehicle are prepared for winter travel. Here are some quick tips to keep you safe this winter.

Download the Caltrans Quick Map app on your phone. This will give you up-to-date road conditions. Where chains are required and any road closures. Also on the Caltrans website, you can view live camera video of roadways throughout the state.

Prepare your vehicle for winter travel. Check the tire pressure. In cold weather, tires become deflated. Add concentrated windshield wiper fluid to your vehicle’s wiper system. That will help prevent freezing.
Fill your gas tank before leaving. Traffic delays can take hours and that can mean burning gas. If you have an electric car, charge your battery. Cold weather can cause the batteries to drain faster. Bring an ice scraper to clean off your windshield and wipe the snow off your car. If you do not have a four-wheel drive vehicle, carry chains.

Prepare yourself for winter travel. Weather conditions can change quickly. Plan ahead. Check weather reports and road conditions. Bring food, water, blankets, and a phone charger. Bring proper clothing. Every year the news shows stranded drivers wearing shorts and flip-flops. Be prepared for a long travel day and road closures. Do not follow GPS to take back roads to avoid freeways. Back roads are not plowed as often, and you can become stranded. Also, some areas have poor or no cell coverage. Tell family and friends what your plans are.

If the CHP and Caltrans are advising you not to travel and you don’t have to, stay home or delay your trip. Spinouts and accidents can take a long time to clean up and prevent first responders and snow plows from keeping roadways open.

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