Winter driving a challenge on many Nevada roads |

Winter driving a challenge on many Nevada roads

Record Courier Staff Reports

Santa is loading up his sleigh and checking it twice tonight before leaving the ice and snow of the North Pole to deliver presents to good boys and girls. The sleigh is in proper working order and all of the leather harnesses for each reindeer have been checked.

The weight of the presents on the sleigh has been balanced and even Rudolph’s nose is shining brightly. Santa won’t get lost tonight!

Winter driving in Nevada can be scary, a winter storm can happen without much warning. Being prepared for driving in our mountains and on our roads is necessary here.

Take a tip from Santa, before taking off on that holiday trip take a few minutes to check your vehicle and road conditions to your destination by calling 1-877-687-6237 or in California call (800) 427-7623.

Information below is from “How to Go on Ice and Snow” an AAA Insurance Traffic Safety Department pamphlet published in January 1999, and “Winter Driving,” a pamphlet from Caltrans, published October 1997.

Remember these tips when driving during wintry conditions to help keep your vehicle in excellent operating condition.

Check all systems:

— Electrical system includes the battery, ignition system, and lights. Recharge or replace weak battery. Check fluid levels and make sure battery posts are clean and tight.

— Brake system needs to be checked and properly adjusted.

— Tires should always be in good condition and properly inflated. Keep chains in car in case they are required.

— Exhaust system should be checked for leaks of carbon monoxide. If your car is stuck in the snow and you have the car running and the heater on open a window slightly and clear snow away from the exhaust pipe.

— Heating and cooling system needs antifreeze added to the radiator for the coldest weather (at least Ð30 F). Check radiator and hoses for leaks and cracks.

— Windshield wipers and washer. Replace worn windshield wipers and add antifreeze washer solvent to the reservoir bottle.

— Keep a winter driving kit in your car in case of an emergency. The kit should include tire chains, small bag of abrasive material (sand, salt or cat litter), small snow shovel, snow brush, traction mats, flashlight, window washing solvent, ice scraper, cloth or roll of paper towels, booster cables, blanket, warning devices (flares or triangles) and a cell phone.

— Allow enough time to get to your destination, leave early and drive slower. The speed limit may be OK if conditions are sunny and bright but driving on snow and ice is treacherous making stopping distances much longer and increasing the danger of sliding out of control.

— Fill up your gas tank before leaving. Detours or traffic delays are possible Ð don’t be caught without enough gas.

— Windshield and windows should be kept clear. Use an ice scraper outside on the windshield and the car defroster and cloth to keep windows free of fog inside. Watch for other vehicles and snow removal equipment. Wintry weather conditions limit visibility in winter.

Don’t forget to put out that plate of cookies and glass of milk for Santa.

Merry Christmas!

— Carolyn Purkiss can be reached at 266-9482 or by e-mail at