Regional
11:43 am
Tue February 1, 2011

Las Cruces Issues Winter Driving Tips

Las Cruces – With the potential for wet or icy roads within the next couple of days, it is important that motorists be prepared for hazardous or unsafe driving conditions.

The Las Cruces Police Department is offering tips that could help improve safety during wet weather conditions. The police department recommends following these and other safety tips:

1. Clear windshield and all windows of snow, ice and debris before driving.
2. Slow down. Allow for more travel time when driving in wet weather.
3. Allow for greater distance between vehicles. Normal driving conditions recommend travelling at least two seconds behind vehicles. During wet weather, or icy road conditions, it is recommended to increase that distance.
4. When coming to a stop, begin slowing down sooner and apply gentle brake pressure. Avoid slamming on brakes, and making sudden turns or lane changes.
5. Give larger vehicles, like trucks and buses, more room for stops and turns.
6. If possible, drive around sitting water and accumulated snow. Puddles may be deeper than they appear and snow may be hiding patches of ice - or what's called "black ice" - that increase driving hazards.
7. Never attempt to drive through flooded arroyos or running water. Even when driving a large vehicle, like a truck or SUV, fast-moving water can easily overcome it.
8. Drive with headlights on and be alert to surrounding traffic and changing weather conditions.
9. If rain or snow is too heavy, or streets are flooded, pull over to a safe distance from the roadway until conditions improve. If roads are icy, avoid driving them if at all possible.
10. Keep your vehicle well-maintained. Periodically check that brakes, tires and windshield wipers are in good working condition.

Besides driving defensively and following basic safety tips, it's also important to dress appropriately and in preparation for potential weather changes. Drivers may want to consider keeping an extra jacket or blanket in their vehicle even if current weather conditions don't appear those items are needed.