California winters can mean fog, rain, ice, snow, slippery roads, and poor visibility. Simple precautions can minimize the risk of accidents and injuries.
Before you get into a vehicle, take a little extra time to make sure everything is in good condition and operating correctly.
- Are the windshield and side windows clear?
- Do the windshield wipers work?
- Are the blades in good condition?
- Can you see in all the mirrors?
- Are the headlights clean enough to allow for proper visibility?
- Do the tail and the brake lights work?
- Do the emergency lights work?
- Does the defroster work or is there so much on the dash that the defroster couldn’t possibly work?
- Do the tires have good tread and adequate pressure?
- Are the brakes working properly?
- Is there more than a quarter tank of gas?
- Do you have emergency or repair equipment in the vehicle, including flashlights, flares, fire extinguishers, and chains where applicable?
Check all of these things before heading out into winter weather.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles has several tips for driving in inclement weather:
Fog is one of the biggest challenges California drivers face in winter.
- Go slow and use your low beam headlights. The light from the high beams will reflect back and cause glare. Never drive with just your parking or fog lights.
- Increase your following distance and be prepared to stop within short spaces. Avoid crossing or passing traffic unless absolutely necessary. Listen for traffic you cannot see. Use your wipers and defroster as necessary for best vision.
- If the fog becomes so thick that you can barely see, pull completely off the road. Do not continue driving until you can see well.
Many roads are most slippery when it first starts to rain or snow because oil and dust have not yet washed away.
- Slow down at the first sign of rain, drizzle, or snow on the road. Turn on your windshield wipers, headlights, and defroster.
- In heavy storms, you may not be able to see more than 100 feet ahead of your vehicle. If that’s the case, you cannot safely drive faster than 30 mph. Stop to wipe mud or snow off your windshield, headlights, and taillights as necessary.
- If you drive in snowy areas, carry the correct chains, and learn how to put them on before you need to use them.
Remember also to reduce driving speed on wet, muddy, oily, or icy roads and be especially alert for pedestrians and animals. It will make your driving experience easier and safer. Preventive winter maintenance and extra caution can be important factors in accident prevention.
The above evaluations and/or recommendations are for general guidance only and should not be relied upon for legal compliance purposes. They are based solely on the information provided to us and relate only to those conditions specifically discussed. We do not make any warranty, expressed or implied, that your workplace is safe or healthful or that it complies with all laws, regulations or standards.