For driving tips and road conditions call or go to CalTrans at: 1-800-427-ROAD (7623) www.dot.ca.gov
Winter can be a beautiful time here at Arrowhead Pine Rose Cabins in the San Bernardino mountains of Southern California. However, it can bring inclement driving conditions. Here are some driving tips to make your winter driving experience safer in the Lake Arrowhead Mountain Communities:
Winter Driving Tips
1. The law requires all vehicles to carry tire chains on board during snowy driving conditions in the mountains, no exceptions.
2. Install tire chains in a turnout or parking lot, not in the road.
3. Don’t pass snow plows, as their drivers have limited visibility, and you’re likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.
4. Decrease your speed in snowy/rainy conditions and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. Allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you. Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.
5. Don’t assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.
6. Never cross the double-yellow line on mountain highways.
7. Pack a winter safety kit when driving to Lake Arrowhead. Include car blankets, water, a pliers for your chains, food, cat litter for traction, and an ice scraper. Store the kit so it is easy to access.
8. Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
9. Keep your lights and windshield free of snow.
The following are winter driving tips from CalTrans:
Allow Enough Time – Trips to the mountains can take longer during winter, especially if you encounter snow, fog, rain, or icy roads.
Keep Your Fuel Tank Full – It may be necessary to change routes or turn back during a bad storm. There may be delays if bad weather forces a highway closure.
Drive Slowly – Most winter accidents are from driving too fast. Avoid speeding and use low gears to slow your vehicle. Remember that having four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive improves climbing traction but does not help to stop your vehicle.
Turn Off Cruise Control – Don’t use cruise control when driving in snowy or wet weather. Keeping control of your vehicle will allow you to react to sudden changes.
Don’t Panic – If you begin to slide while driving on snow or ice, slowly take your foot off the gas pedal, do not use your brakes, and steer your vehicle in the direction you wish to travel. If you must use brakes, gently pump the brake pedal. If your vehicle is equipped with anti-lock (ABS) brakes, apply firm, steady pressure without pumping.
Watch For Black Ice – The temperature doesn’t have to be below freezing for icy spots to form on road surfaces, especially when it’s windy. Black ice is almost invisible.
Stay In Your Stalled Vehicle – Should your vehicle stall or get stuck in snowy conditions, stay inside, put your flashers on, and try to conserve fuel while maintaining warmth.
Winter weather is unpredictable. Be prepared by having an Emergency Kit in your vehicle. These items may be of use should you have to drive in snowy mountain weather:
- Flashlight with extra batteries, your cell phone flashlight won’t work well in rain and snow
- Clean dry towel to wipe your hands after installing snow chains
- Ice scraper
- Small shovel
- Sand/Kitty Litter to help with traction should you get stuck in mud or snow