Winter Driving Tips for Safe Thanksgiving Travel

REDDING – Two of California’s traffic safety partners, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and Caltrans, are teaming up to drive home an important message to all motorists traveling in the north state this winter: be prepared for upcoming storms.  Information on winter driving, chain controls and access to traffic cameras is available on the internet at www.caltrans2.info. Caltrans suggests you visit the website prior to any winter trip for important information on driving conditions and tips on how to be prepared in the case of inclement weather.  The CHP has a mobile app you can use on your cell phone to get information about traffic conditions http://m.chp.ca.gov.


“We’re encouraging motorists to check their automobiles and make sure they’re prepared in the event they are caught in a storm,” said District 2 Director John Bulinski. “Safety is our number one priority, and that includes the traveling public and our highway workers.  Please slow down when necessary so we can all get home safely.”

CHP Redding Area Commander Captain Jerry Flavin adds, “Often drivers are traveling long distances during the winter months.  As a result, many drivers are overly tired and not properly focused on the hazards of winter driving.  It’s important to get the proper rest and don’t drive if you’re tired.”

It is best to stay off the roads during winter storms, but if you must go out, use caution, common sense and be prepared.

Things to Remember

  • Winterize your vehicle (check brakes, windshield wipers, antifreeze, tires).
  • Always carry chains.
  • Reduce speed and use your seatbelt.
  • Do not use cruise control in wet, icy or snowy weather.
  • Do not pass a vehicle plowing snow unless instructed.
  • Be aware of rapidly changing conditions.
  • Be prepared for road closures and long delays (bring a flashlight, blanket, food, ice scraper, gloves, water, cell phone charger).
  • If possible, stay off the road during winter storms.
  • Studded snow tires are permitted in California from November 1 until April 30. Studded snow tires are not considered tire traction devices and may not be used in lieu of chains.

Truck Drivers

  • Extra-Legal permitted loads are restricted during inclement weather.
  • Follow instructions in chain control areas.
  • Listen for Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) messages on 1610 AM.
  • Remain in the slow lane, avoid passing other big rigs.

See the attached brochure for more information about chains, vehicle winterization, the Caltrans Highway Information Network, and additional ways to get information about road conditions.

Click the following link to go to the brochure online, http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/wntrdriv.htm. To access the CHP webpage on winter driving, go to http://www.chp.ca.gov/html/winter_driving.html.

For more information visit www.caltrans2.info or if traveling through Oregon, www.tripcheck.com.

This press release is available electronically at www.caltrans2.info.

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