ITD encourages drivers to prepare for winter driving

Idaho is rugged country with a diverse geography and natural beauty. The qualities that invite exploration, recreation and commerce also can make winter driving a challenge. Safely navigating Idaho’s winter weather and highways requires preparation.

It begins before you begin, ITD advises.

Now is the time to make sure you and your vehicle are ready for the demands of winter driving. The transportation department will do everything possible from a maintenance perspective to ensure that you arrive safely at your destination.

ITD has a fleet of maintenance vehicles – snowplows, sanders and de-icing trucks – and trained, highly qualified operators dedicated to keeping Idaho’s highways clear. But safety begins with drivers.

The department encourages a pre-winter vehicle inspection that includes tires, brakes, windshield wipers and fluid levels. Drivers should carry essential emergency items when driving on Idaho highways. They also should be familiar with how the vehicle handles in a variety of conditions.

Drivers should check Idaho’s 511 Traveler Services website or call 5-1-1 before traveling out of town in the winter for the latest reports on highway and weather conditions. Reports are updated regularly through the day and anytime there is a significant change in conditions.

Perhaps the best defense against demanding winter driving conditions is a good offense: ITD recommends that drivers should never turn the ignition key without first buckling their seat belt.

Published 11-18-2011