Snowy highways call for extra caution | RecordCourier.com

Snowy highways call for extra caution

by Susan Martinovich
Nevada Department of Transportation

Winter is approaching. In Northern Nevada, the winter season often brings ice and snow to our roadways. It also brings special reason to drive safely.

Whether a parent driving children home from school, a teenager traveling to a family gathering or a plow driver working to clear roads, we encounter many other vehicles while driving on winter roads. For them, and ourselves, we must drive safely.

In 2008, there were 12 deaths and 1,348 vehicle crashes statewide attributable to unsafe driving behaviors on snowy, icy and wet roadways, such as driving too fast for conditions, following too closely, or failing to maintain a lane and overcorrecting.

You can help avoid these tragic crashes. How? Use seatbelts and headlights. Don’t make quick starts, stops or fast turns. Leave extra space between your car and others. Use extra caution on bridges, ramps, overpasses and shaded areas. Most importantly, pay attention and always take it slow in ice and snow.

There are also resources that we at the Nevada Department of Transportation offer. Before driving, dial ‘511’ for Nevada winter road conditions and weather. And, log on to http://www.nevadadot.com/winter for more safe winter driving tips, current road conditions and chain requirement descriptions.

Alongside our local government partners, NDOT is dedicated to safely clearing ice and snow, with over 37,000 person hours spent last year removing snow on Reno/Sparks, Lake Tahoe, Carson City, Virginia City and Gardnerville state roads.

As we clear the roads, your fellow drivers depend on you to help keep those roads safe. Please drive safely, and slowly, on our winter roads this year.

Susan Martinovich is director of the Nevada Department of Transportation.