California boasts favorable weather almost year-round, but the winters are still cold, and this season has already brought wet, frigid temperatures to much of the state.
When temperatures dip and the forecast calls for rain or snow, driving conditions become harsher and more dangerous even for the most experienced drivers.
At times, roads may become impassable until plowed. The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind residents and persons visiting the area to be prepared.
Tips for the home
• Keep an eye on the weather. The weather forecasts can change rapidly.
• Inspect weather strips around doors and windows to prevent heat loss.
• Install and maintain smoke detectors.
• Know how to shut off water valves in the event a pipe bursts.
• Stock extra food (with manual can opener) and water for you and your pets.
• Make sure you have extra flashlights, batteries, solar phone charger and medication.
• Adequate heat source if possible. Stock extra wood and matches.
Tips for the car
Before your trip:
• Take a few minutes to check that your brakes, windshield wipers, defroster, anti-freeze, heater and exhaust systems are in good working condition.
• Ensure that your tires are properly inflated, and the tread is in good condition. Take a quick trip to the gas station to add air to your tires, if necessary.
• Prepare to eliminate distractions. Avoid using your phone while driving, and let those close to you know you’ll be out of touch for the time being.
During your trip:
• Remain aware and alert. Keep your eyes on the road and watch out for brake lights, nearby pedestrians, and other distractions. Foggy, rainy or snowy weather can make these cues more difficult to spot.
• If you’re traveling in rainy weather, try and keep your vehicle toward the middle lanes. Water is more likely to build up in outer lanes, which can cause your car to hydroplane.
• Though it may be tempting, avoid using cruise control during wet or snowy road conditions. Cruise control can cause skidding and loss of tire traction.
• If you do find yourself hydroplaning or skidding, remember the following:
Do not perform any sudden braking or turns. If you need to brake, do so gently with light pumping action.
Your steering wheel should be turned in the direction of the skid. As you recover control, gently straighten the wheels.