The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has offered tips on driving on snowy and/or icy roads as the last winter storm of 2019 passes through the Santa Clarita Valley.
Regarding safe speed, Section 22350 of the California Vehicle Code says no person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.
And now, the tips:
• Stay home. Only go out if necessary. Even if you can drive well in bad weather, it’s better to avoid taking unnecessary risks by venturing out.
• Drive slowly. Always adjust your speed down to account for lower traction when driving on snow or ice.
• Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Apply the gas slowly to regain traction and avoid skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry and take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
• Increase your following distance. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
• Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
Unlike snow, ice is often invisible. You have to guess where it might be.
• Look for reflections in the road surface ahead; what looks like water, may be ice.
• Are roadside puddles liquid or frozen?
• If the swishing sound of your tires on a wet road goes quiet, you may be on ice.
• One of the first signs of slippery conditions is if the steering becomes lighter to turn.
The safest way to drive in bad weather is to drive slow and steady. Be courteous to others and be prepared for sudden unexpected surprises.
If the weather is that bad outside, stay home, watch a movie and enjoy your family time.