Slipe ’n’ slide

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Winter weather has finally arrived in the Truckee Meadows, with several days of storms but not a lot of snowfall—though the roads have been slick here in the valley a few times already.

Warnings and driving tips that are issued by media outlets each year as winter sets in may seem tedious to some, but statistics concerning traffic accidents in the snow make them worthwhile, nonetheless. Take for example, numbers from the Federal Highway Administration, which reports that, “Each year, 24 percent of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on snowy, slushy or icy pavement and 15 percent happen during snowfall or sleet.” The results is that more than 1,300 people are killed and more than 116,800 are injured in vehicle crashes on bad roads in the U.S. annually.

As Truckee Meadows’ population swells and roads become more and more packed, being conscientious drivers takes on greater importance, especially when the roads are bad. On Tuesday morning, commuters headed east on Interstate 80—many to jobs at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center—were delayed by several fender-benders and spinouts. Thankfully, no injuries were reported. Still, it’s cause to take a pause and think about how to drive safely on slick roads. With that in mind, here are few things to consider.

Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid having your gas line freeze-up.

Know whether or not your car has antilock brakes and what that means. ABS will automatically “pump” your brakes for your if you apply them while your vehicle is skidding or sliding. If you don’t have ABS, practice pumping your brakes to get a feel for it.

Don’t put radial tires or winter tires on only the front or back axle of your vehicle, as it can increase your risk of losing traction while braking or cornering on wintery roads.

If you want more information on winter driving safety, visit this Nevada Division of Transportation website: