With wet weather fast approaching, Caltrans District 2 reminds motorists to be prepared for rain and winter weather conditions. There are several things drivers can do to help stay safe on the roadways.
Before you leave home:
- Check your brakes, battery, windshield wipers, defroster, heater, headlights, and exhaust system to make sure they are in good, working condition.
- Check your tire pressure when tires are cold. If the tread on your tires is low, it may be time to get new tires.
- Pack chains, a small ice scraper and shovel, flashlight, warm blankets, water, non-perishable food items, and a cell phone.
- Make sure you have a full tank of gas and carry a spare key for your vehicle.
- Check road conditions early and often: http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/ (also available by app)
On the road:
When traveling on routes through canyons or other steep areas, watch for debris that may be dislodged onto the roadway via high winds, rain or snow. Be cognizant when traveling through burn scar areas.
Slow down on wet pavement. According to AAA, with as little as 1/12 inch of water on the road, tires have to displace a gallon of water per second to keep the rubber meeting the asphalt.
Leave proper distance and drive carefully around emergency personnel and snow removal equipment. Make sure your headlights are on when it’s raining. This became a law in California in 2005. Fines can go up to $150.
Let permitted installers help you with chains. Those permitted by Caltrans must display a sign advising drivers in advance of their fee. Permitted installers must wear a vest with their vendor number on it. Installers cannot sell or rent chains to drivers. Call the California Highway Patrol if any issues arise regarding chain installations.
For advisory signs, tune to:
- 1610 AM (Shasta, Tehama, Siskiyou, Lassen, Plumas, and Trinity counties)
- 97.9 FM (Modoc County)
- 1580 AM (Butte County – State Routes 70 & 191)