Posted by: Kelley Dees | December 10, 2010

Winter Travel


Winter weather can develop quickly across Wyoming. We should do our best to prepare for hazardous weather in advance.

Tune up your car and have your brakes checked. Don’t let air out of your tires: it increases wear and doesn’t help traction. Putting sand bags or concrete blocks in the trunk doesn’t necessarily increase traction. In fact, extra weight may increase the damage of skidding, especially if it is not tied down or if it is arranged so that the vehicle’s weight is not distributed evenly.

Replace old wiper blades and add windshield anti-freeze to window cleaning fluid. Keep the fuel tank full. Running out of fuel is an easy problem to avoid! However, don’t carry filled portable gasoline containers. They increase the chance of explosion in collisions. Even minor crashes can start a fire.

Change your car’s oil to a lighter, winter weight and make sure all fluid levels are kept full. Check lights and turn signals. Keep all lights free of ice and snow, and use low beams when driving through blowing snow. Seat belts save lives, but they won’t if they aren’t used. Be sure to fasten your seat belt before going anywhere. Seventy percent of Wyoming fatal crashes involve occupants not wearing seat belts.

Remember to clean snow off your shoes before you get in the car. Slippery accelerator and brake pedals are a safety hazard.

Before traveling long distances in wintertime Wyoming (and especially before driving in rural areas, where help may be hours away), make sure you have the following items in your vehicle:

  • An emergency first-aid kit that’s well stocked with medical supplies and bandages
  • A set of tire chains that fit
  • A shovel and a small bag of sand, to use if your vehicle gets stuck
  • A snow brush, ice scraper, and can of de-icer to use on frozen door locks and wiper blades
  • Blankets and dehydrated foods, in case you get stranded for an extended period of time
  • Flares and flashlights for nighttime emergencies
  • Booster cables in case of a dead battery

This information is provided courtesy of the Wyoming AgrAbility Project. For more information, visit our website or call toll-free at 866-395-4986.

This information has been adapted from the Wyoming Department of Transportation.


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