Winter Driving in Montana: Tips for a safe trip
Now that the first real winter storm of the season has hit and Halloween is in the rearview mirror, the Holiday Season is quickly approaching. Every year, regardless of weather and particularly during Christmas and Thanksgiving, Montanans will be hitting the highways for vacations and family gatherings. Although a majority traffic accidents and fatalities occur over the winter months, there are several preventative steps you can take to ensure your safety should an unfortunate situation arise on one of Montana's roads.
Winter Driving Checklist
The Montana Department of Transportation has put together a checklist of recommended actions you should take before winter travel, the first of which is to always allow yourself extra time to get to your destination. They advise to clean off your car and make sure all mirrors are snow-free and visible and, of course, to buckle up once you're in your vehicle. Do not use cruise control on winter roads and if you find yourself in severe conditions, slow down. The DOT reminds you that snow and ice can be particularly hazardous on bridge decks and shady spots and if you encounter one of Montana's many snow plows on the road, do not pass them unless completely necessary. It is of extreme importance that all four of your tires are in good condition for winter and the Department recommends the mounting of snow tires for extra traction. Of course, the best time to prepare your vehicle is before you begin your journey and since conditions in a Montana Winters are frequently snowy with windy, subzero conditions, it is advised to carry an emergency travel kit in your vehicle.