The dos and don’ts of winter driving in Southwest Montana
Now that we're a few days into winter's first real snowfall we may be getting used to driving on snowy roads once again. Of course, winter driving requires a little extra attention to your surroundings and conditions, but it doesn't have to be a dance with danger every time you leave your house.
MAKE SURE YOUR CAR IS IN GOOD WORKING ORDER: This means you have to have good winter tires, but this is practically a given. You will also want to replace your windshield wipers before you take your first winter road trip. There is nothing more frustrating or dangerous than when you hit your wipers on the highway and all it does is streak or spread the icy mess around your field of vision. A winter safety check at your local service center is always a good idea before the snow really starts to fly. The Montana Department of Transportation recommends that you allow extra time when travelling, to expect ice in shady areas, to turn off cruise control and to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE EMERGENCY PROVISIONS: The Montana Department of Transportation also recommends that you be road-ready, and they have even prepared a list of things that you should have in your vehicle when travelling on Montana roads in the winter. These include a flashlight and shovel, a warm blanket, emergency food rations, a cell phone, a portable radio, flares, candles and even a bag of sand or cat litter to gain traction if you become stuck.
Winter driving is stressful, but if we give ourselves time and use common sense, we can all make it to our next destination.
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