ELKO — As the West Coast continues to be hammered by significant rain and snowstorms, REACH Air Medical Services wants to remind Elko residents that driving during winter weather can be difficult. It is best if area residents follow standard safety rules for winter driving.
“Studies show that auto accidents increase by 12 percent during January and February. If you don’t have to be out in a storm or before the roads are adequately cleared, stay home,” advises Stacey Ingram, program director for REACH. “If you do have to venture out, there are several precautions you should take while driving.”
Ingram recommends taking it slow and allowing plenty of time to get to your destination when driving in winter weather conditions. Reduced traction with slippery roads, diminished visibility due to snow and flat light conditions can all contribute to car crashes. Also avoid driving too fast for the weather conditions.
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REACH reminds you to:
Avoid changing lanes quickly
Allow more time and distance to adequately brake and stop
Check to ensure your car is in good running condition with properly functioning brakes, battery, appropriate tire pressure and adequate fluid levels
Try not to go below a half tank of gas in the event of a slow, long commute during stormy weather
If you do get stuck and you run your engine, make sure the tailpipe is not blocked with snow – carbon monoxide can leak into the car
If you do have to travel in winter driving conditions, keep an emergency kit in your car in case you are stranded. It should include:
Shovel, windshield scraper, booster cables, sand or kitty litter, tow rope
Warm blankets, dry hat, gloves and outerwear, battery-powered radio, flashlight
Drinking water, non-perishable food, first-aid kit