BOISE -- The snow storm in southern Idaho is making for a tricky commute.
Icy roads and poor visibility create hazards for even the best drivers. The best advice the Idaho Transportation Department gives to people driving in this weather is: Be prepared and slow down.
Here are some additional driving tips, courtesy of ITD, to follow during the winter months:
- Travel Smart. Travel Safe. Get updates on winter road and weather conditions, emergency closures and access to tourist information 24-hours-a-day by visiting 511.idaho.gov or dialing 511. If your phone company does not support 511, simply call 888-IDA-ROAD (888-432-7623) to access the 511 system.
- Slow down. Speed limits are posted for safe travel under dry conditions. Don t assume guidelines are the same when driving in hazardous conditions. Allow plenty of space between you and the car ahead
- Allow extra time. Leave a few minutes early and allow extra time to get to your destination. If you are in a hurry, remember it is better to be a few minutes late than to put yourself and others at risk by driving too fast for the conditions
- Buckle up. Always wear your seat belt. Make sure children are properly secured in a safety seat that is right for their age and weight
- Play it safe around snowplows. Keep at least two car lengths behind snowplows for every 10 mph you drive. Do not pass a snowplow or spreader unless it is absolutely necessary, and do not cut back immediately in front of a snowplow. Never drive through the snow being ejected from the plows the force of the spraying snow can throw your car out of control
- Use caution. Be aware of potentially icy areas such as shady spots and bridges. Also take caution against black ice. Drive under the speed limit if conditions warrant caution
- Prepare your car. Winter conditions increase the importance of a well-maintained vehicle. Keep your car s windows, mirrors and lights clear of snow and ice. Make sure tires and brakes are ready for the extra demands of winter. Visit the mechanic and ensure your battery and fluid levels are up to par and heating units are working
- Share your travel plans. Tell family or friends about your travel plans, including estimated departure and arrival times, route and where you will stay when you reach your destination. Be courteous and call those who may be worried when you arrive at your destination
- Keep in contact. If you have a cell phone, make sure it is charged and carry a list of emergency phone numbers
- Be prepared. Keep emergency supplies in the car: flashlights, extra batteries, first aid kit, pocket knife, blanket or sleeping bag, mittens, socks and a wool hat, small sack of sand or cat litter for generating traction under the wheels, small shovel, bottled water, booster cables, rope, energy bars or other food, brightly-colored scarf to attract attention in case of an emergency, waterproof matches or cigarette lighter and map of the area where you plan to travel