Snow season has officially begun! Besides hitting the slopes and impromptu snowball fights, the season brings on black ice and sometimes sketchy visibility!

I reached out to the Missoula Police Department and they were kind enough to offer up some advice on how to stay safe on the roads this winter!

Sergeant Greg Amundsen, from Missoula PD's traffic unit, wanted me to advise you to pay special attention when you are driving on bridges and overpasses. Especially the Reserve Street bridge, because it tends to ice over sooner than the other bridges. The overpass over Broadway can be tricky too, so take your time and be aware!

Sgt. Amundsen also advised us to check the condition of your tires or have a professional do it. If you haven't gotten winter tires yet, you might want to look into it! In addition to your tires, make sure your wiper blades are in good shape because winter weather makes it much harder to keep your windshields clear!

He also advised that you give yourself more braking distance just in case your car slides on the icy slick roads. He said,

" Plan ahead to stop and make sure you give yourself plenty of room and remember if you have anti-lock brakes, just press the pedal down hard and let them work, if not use gentle threshold braking or pump your brake if they lock up."

One of the most important things my dad, who was a cop for 28 years, told me was to not panic. So while you're out driving this winter, be aware of your surroundings and give yourself a cushion of 10-15 minutes so you're not rushing to get from place to place!

 

AAA recommends the following winter driving tips:

  • Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
  • Never run a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full.
  • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
  • Always look and steer where you want to go.
  • Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.

For more AAA winter driving tips click HERE!