Winter Driving Tips – Big Bear
• BRING CHAINS FOR YOUR VEHICLE—even if it is NOT snowing! The closure of some mountain routes in past weeks have been attributed to vehicles without chains that became disabled within chain control areas. This caused as many as 100 other motorists to become “stuck” for hours while Caltrans crews, CHP, and emergency responders worked to free the vehicles.
• NEVER INSTALL CHAINS ON THE ROADWAY AND BLOCK TRAFFIC! Use designated areas or turnouts for chain installation.
Make sure your exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into your vehicle while the engine is running. Try to run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill and conserve gasoline.
• Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Apply the gas slowly to accelerate to regain traction and avoid skids. Again: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
• Increase your following distance from three to four seconds to eight to ten seconds. This will provide more distance for you to stop.
• Know what kind of brakes you have on your vehicle. If you have anti-lock brakes (ABS) and need to slow down quickly, press hard on the pedal-it’s normal for the pedal to vibrate a bit when the ABS is activated.
• Don’t come to a complete stop if it is not necessary. It takes longer to start moving again in the snow and regain traction.
• Don’t power uphill on snow/ice-covered roads. This will cause your wheels to spin. Press on the gas enough to get your car moving and then when you reach a level area you can reduce your speed. Proceed as slowly as possible on downhill roads.
• Don’t stop going up a hill – you lose traction.