Winter Safety

With a little thought and planning, we can keep our roads – and our families – a lot safer.

Prepared today, protected tomorrow.

Winter weather can bring treacherous conditions on the road. The more prepared we are, the safer we can navigate those changing conditions. Check out our growing list of tips and resources for safe winter driving. Being prepared today means we’re protected tomorrow.

The confidence trap.

Drive safely for all conditions

Here’s the bottom line: Overconfident drivers can cause crashes. In winter weather, the same rules don’t apply as warmer weather. For example, posted speed limits might not be appropriate in ice and snow. Speed affects most winter crashes, so slow down in inclement weather. Stay engaged and free from distractions like phones and food. A good rule of thumb is to leave earlier and drive slower.

Stay off the road if you can.

If snow or ice makes driving conditions difficult, consider staying home if you can. That way, those who have to drive to work have a safer commute with fewer drivers on the roads. Either way, here are some activities you can do with your family or by yourself at home.

  • Board games
  • Read a book
  • Popcorn & movies
  • Do an exercise video
  • Go sledding with your kids
  • Do a puzzle
  • Reorganize a room
  • Bake a treat or special meal
  • Watch DIY videos
  • Have an at-home spa day

Check 511 before you go.

Before you drive in winter weather, check for road conditions. You can also download the Idaho 511 app on your phone. In the app you’ll find near real-time highway and traffic information — as well as weather conditions — to help you safely plan your route. 511 resources are updated year-round and also show road closures.

Drive safely around snowplows.

Snowplows make the roads safer for everyone. Be sure to give them plenty of room. Plow trucks are large vehicles with blind spots, even when not working in blizzard conditions or pushing snow. The safest place is always behind the plow. Never pass on the right — that’s where the wing plow extends 10 feet from the right side.

Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle.

Make sure you have a winter emergency kit in your vehicle. It will keep you safe if you get stuck during a storm or run off the road. Along with the kit, be sure to let a loved one know your travel plans, especially if you’re driving through an area without cell service.

  • First aid kit
  • Kitty litter
  • Phone charger
  • Flashlight
  • Ice scraper
  • Food and snacks
  • Blankets
  • Jumper cables
  • Small shovel
  • Flares
  • Tire chains
  • Winter clothing
  • Waterproof boots

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