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Driving tips for winter

Posted at 6:26 PM, Dec 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-04 09:41:20-05

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — According to the Idaho Department of Transportation, from 2015 to 2019, more than half of the state's car crashes (50.66%) occurred between October and December. 39% of those accidents were caused by weather and road conditions.

While there hasn't been any significant snowfall yet, road conditions have deteriorated these past weeks due to the frigid temperatures. The Twin Falls Police Department has already responded to several accidents involving frost on the roads. Now, they want to remind people to be safe.

"Give yourself some extra space between the car in front of you. Give yourself space with cars beside you. Just try to avoid and watch for those collision potentials," said Twin Falls Police Sgt. Ryan Howe.

Howe also mentioned he wants drivers to defrost their windows and windshield before getting on the road or else you may face a citation.

As the winter season progresses, it is essential to have supplies in your car, like an ice scraper, since the weather is unpredictable.

"Make sure that you have warm clothes packed. Making sure you have something like cat litter. It's a great thing to keep there so that you can provide yourself with traction, and also tools such as a shovel and things like that," said Jessica Williams with the Idaho Transportation Department.

When heading out in inclement weather, be sure to let someone know where you are going, especially if you're traveling somewhere more rural where phone reception may not be reliable. That way, in the event you get stuck, a friend or family member knows where you may be.

Since it's still early in the winter season, Twin Falls police are encouraging the public to get ahead of the curve and purchase some winter products now before it's too late.

"If you decide you want to run studded snow tires, it's time to do that; you can put those on. Just make sure that you have enough tread, or it's rated for the snow because once it snows, again there is going to be a rush to all the tire shops," said Howe.

To assist drivers on the road, the Idaho Department of Transportation has also set up its 511 app that will let people know how safe the roads are.

"That app will actually allow you access to see road conditions throughout the state, and you can even view weather cameras that we have at stationary points as well so that you can get an idea of what the roads look like," said Williams.

To access the app, click on this link.

The Idaho Department of Transportation will also be posting driving tips on their Facebook throughout the winter.