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The original item was published from 2/17/2016 2:59:52 PM to 2/22/2016 12:00:00 AM.

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Posted on: February 17, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Caltrans Advises Motorists on the Return of Winter Driving Conditions

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 3 is alerting motorists traveling over the Donner or Echo Summits Wednesday night and Thursday morning to be prepared for travel delays. An oncoming winter storm is predicted to arrive late on Wednesday, February 17 which will result in winter driving conditions and high wind advisories.

The National Weather Service (NWS) expects the storm to arrive Wednesday evening continuing through Thursday February 18. Chain controls on Interstate 80 over Donner Summit and on U.S. Highway 50 over Echo Summit should be anticipated. High winds may cause temporary restrictions on high profile vehicles. Highway 395 between Highway 36 and Highway 70 in the northeastern part of the state is currently closed to high profile vehicles due very high wind conditions.

Caltrans snow removal crews will be working overnight on summit passes and impacted Caltrans roadways. Continued cold temperatures can result in icy and slippery road conditions. Caltrans strongly encourages motorists observe Caltrans message signs, slow down and follow these winter driving tips:

• Check your tire pressure and tread depth to minimize sliding and/or hydroplaning.
• Replace the wiper blades and fill the windshield wiper fluid reservoir; be sure to use a winter formula to help de-ice windshields.
• If traveling to higher elevations, carry tire chains correctly size for your tires, in good working order and practice installing the chains before needing to use them.
• Have a full tank of fuel before traveling.

• Have blankets, extra clothing, food and water, towels, a shovel, a flashlight, an ice scraper, a small bag of sand or kitty litter and road flares.
• If traveling with children, bring activity packs to help prevent driver distractions.
• Have a fully charged cell phone before leaving and carry a car charger.

• Reduce speeds during winter weather and allow for additional stopping time.
• Turn on headlights to see and be seen.
• Turn off cruise control.
• Avoid quick starts, stops and fast turns. Accelerate, brake and steer smoothly and gradually.
• Keep additional distance from other vehicles.
• Watch carefully for snow removal equipment and don’t crowd the plow. Only pass snow removal vehicles when a safe, legal passing area is available and sight distance is good.
• Use extra caution on bridges, ramps, overpasses and shaded areas; they may freeze first.
• If your vehicle begins to skid, steer in the direction of the slide and slowly remove your foot from the accelerator.

• Check out Caltrans' “QuickMap” for current road conditions and chain requirements at A mobile version is also available.
• Motorists also can use the California Highway Information Network automated phone service by calling 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).
• Motorists can see real-time conditions before they hit the road by using our map of traffic cameras in the Sacramento Valley, up Interstate 80, U.S. Highway 50 and around the Tahoe Basin.
• For Interstate 80 and Highway 50 updates, follow Caltrans District 3 on Twitter and Facebook to receive the latest information about current roadway conditions.
• For forecast information, visit the National Weather Service website.

• Understand that winter weather and road conditions can change rapidly and allow for extra travel time or delay your travel until conditions improve.
• Make sure you share the route you intend to take with friends or family.
• Exercise patience and respect for other motorists.

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