Des Moines, IOWA --- The Iowa Department of Public Safety wants drivers to be smart about traveling during winter weather. Iowa Department of Public Safety Commissioner Eugene Meyer urges Iowans to keep a close eye on changing road conditions. “There are several things drivers can do to reduce the number of accidents on Iowa’s roadways,” the Commissioner said. “It seems that every year, drivers are caught off-guard by the first snowfall of the season.”
Here are some tips for winter driving:
For information on road conditions across the State of Iowa, call 5-1-1 or go to http://511ia.org/roadconditions.asp.
- Always monitor the weather conditions before beginning your trip. If conditions look as though they are going to be too hazardous, stay home.
- Avoid speeding.
- Leave more following distance than usual between your vehicle and the one immediately in front of you, giving yourself at least 10 seconds to come to a complete stop.
- Bring a cell phone so those awaiting your arrival can get in touch with you if you are late. But avoid the temptation to use the cell phone while driving, as it can be a dangerous distraction.
- Be careful when driving over bridges and overpasses, as well as roadways rarely exposed to sunlight. They are often icy when other areas are not.
- Be sure to keep your gas tank full. Stormy weather or traffic delays may force you to change routes or turn back. A full gas tank can also prevent your car's gas line from freezing.
- Keep windshields and windows clear. Drivers should have a snow scraper in their vehicles at all times.
- Do not activate your cruise control when driving on slick roads.
- Keep your tires properly inflated and remember that good tread on tires is essential to safe winter driving.
- Keep an emergency kit filled with blankets, non-perishable food, emergency signs, a flashlight and other useful items in your vehicle.