10 tips to be safe when navigating Tahoe’s dangerous winter roads | SierraSun.com

10 tips to be safe when navigating Tahoe’s dangerous winter roads

Staff report

Truckee-Tahoe’s main highways, such as Interstate 80, seen here, can become very difficult to navigate during and after snowstorms, so it’s important to take it easy, drive slow and be prepared. Don’t worry — you’ll arrive at your destination soon enough.

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — Accidents, traffic tickets, injuries: three ways to quickly ruin your winter weekend and freeze up personal finances.

With the winter season nearly upon us at Lake Tahoe and Truckee, it's important to remind residents about the dangers of motoring the region's slippery slopes.

Don't be that driver with just a tiny portion of defrosted glass. Scrape all the windows from front to back. And while you're at it, read though this list of 10 important items to check before driving snowy roads.

It could save you time, money or even your life:

1. Make sure your brakes, windshield wipers, defroster, heater and exhaust system are in top condition.

2. Check your antifreeze and be ready for colder temperatures.

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3. You may need to add concentrated windshield washer fluid to the windshield washer fluid reservoir to prevent an icy windshield.

4. Check your tires. Make sure they are properly inflated and the tread is in good condition.

5. Always carry chains. Make sure they are the proper size for your tires and are in working order. You might want to take along a flashlight, chain repair links and gloves. Chains must be installed on the drive wheels. Make sure you know if your vehicle is front or rear-wheel drive.

6. Other suggested items to carry in your car are an ice scraper or commercial de-icer, a broom for brushing snow off your car, a shovel to free your car if it is "snowed in", sand or burlap for traction if your wheels should become mired in snow and an old towel to clean your hands.

7. It is also a good idea to take along water, food, warm blankets and extra clothing. A lengthy delay will make you glad you have them.

8. Weather conditions may warrant detouring traffic from the main roadway. It is strongly suggested that drivers always keep an updated map containing the areas of travel.

9. If you have a mobile phone, pre-load the Caltrans or NDOT phone numbers for convenient, updated road conditions, or download their app.

10. Put an extra car key in your pocket. A number of motorists have locked themselves out of their cars when putting on chains and at ski areas.

The above information was compiled through the California and Nevada departments of transportation.