Winter weather driving tips

El Paso News
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Driving on icy roads can be dangerous, especially if you’ve never driven on them before. With El Paso not being prone to Wintery weather, it’s important to know how to react if your caught in harsh conditions.
The Texas Department of Public Safety has compiled a list of tips when encountering poor road conditions due to wintry weather:
1. Avoid distractions.
2. Make sure you’re buckled up.
3. Slow down.
4. Go easy on the brakes; applying the brakes on ice can trigger a slide.
5. Turn into a slide. Turn your wheels in the direction you want to go.
6. Increase your following distance.
AAA also has some suggestions for those driving in harsh conditions:
1. Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
2. Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
3. Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
4. Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
5. Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
6. If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
7. Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
REMEMBER: You can’t always see ice on the roadway. Be especially cautious when driving on bridges and overpasses.
Las Cruces Police Department Winter weather driving tips:
  • Avoid unnecessary travel when conditions are poor. If you don’t absolutely have to drive in snow or icy conditions, avoid it.
  • Reduce your speed. The best accident prevention on snow and ice is to slow down and leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Practice good winter driving techniques. Keep your gas tank full, turn on your headlights, be prepared to use tire if necessary, and read your owner’s manual for special instructions on driving 4-wheel-drive vehicles and vehicles with ABS on snow and ice.
  • Carry a winter ‘survival kit’ which includes flashlight, extra blankets, hand warmer packets, first aid supplies, high energy snacks, bottled water, etc.
  • Avoid driving into a snow cloud. Large vehicles, such as semi-trailer trucks and snow plows, may produce dense clouds of blowing snow that make it difficult for drivers to see. Use extreme caution when traveling near larger vehicles and avoid sudden braking if you’re temporarily blinded by a snow cloud.
  • Plan ahead and be patient. Delays are common during bad weather. Leave a little early and be patient with delays.
  • Check before you pass. Know where a snow plow and blade are before trying to pass. On multi-lane highways, the plow can be in your blind spot. Before attempting to pass make sure it is safe.
  • Check weather forecasts and trust them. Winter storms in New Mexico can become severe very quickly, so stay tuned to weather forecasts when planning your trip.
  • Do not use cruise control on slick or snow-covered roads. Never use cruise control when the roads are in slippery conditions. Using your cruise control can reduce your control of the vehicle if your tires begin to skid or slip.
  • Know current road conditions. Visit the NMDOT website for current road advisory information at or dial 511.
  • Wear your seatbelt. Wear your seatbelt and make sure all passengers are “buckled up.”




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