Reno and much of the west have been in a serious drought for years, the arrival of El Nino this winter, however, is bringing much needed precipitation to the region, in the form of large snowfalls. With significant snow forecast for Sunday, November 15th and a large snowfall last weekend that resulted in as much as 18” of snow in Reno last weekend, it’s important to review the safest ways to drive in snowy weather. By following common snow safety practices, one can avoid Reno automobile accidents, and prevent the need for costly automobile repairs, hospital bills and even loss of life.
With the storm right around the corner, it is important to prepare your car for the snow. Before a storm, it’s important to fill your gas tank. By keeping your gas tank full when it is cold, you minimize condensation in the gas tank. Cell phones should be kept charged, but should be put away while driving to minimize distractions. When wiping snow off windows, one should be sure to clear everything, including the automobile’s roof. Headlights should also be cleared when removing snow, and when you drive while it is snowing, you should turn on your headlights. Your car should have an emergency kit inside including a bag of sand or kitty litter, a snow brush, an ice scraper and even tire chains. One should also have spare winter clothing in their vehicle, just in case one is caught unawares and needs to spend significant time or walk a long distance. Flares and a flashlight are also a good idea to stock in your car in case of a Washoe County car crash due to inclement weather.
When it is snowing, one of the best ways to avoid a Northern Nevada vehicle collision, you should drive slowly, taking time to be sure to arrive at your destination without rushing. While driving in the snow, allow yourself significant room to stop – since in the snow, on ice or even when it rains, it takes a longer distance for a car to stop in the snow. Slamming on the breaks in the snow can often cause a car to spin out of control. While driving in the snow brake early and slowly. We all see the signs, but it’s important to remember that bridges freeze before roads do so when approaching them use caution to not careen out of control.