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My name is Steve Young and I am a retired California Highway Patrol Officer. I will also be your instructor in one of the online traffic courses with B Line Traffic Schools. No matter what course you sign up for, my goals are the same: Present you with the information that you need in a way that will not put you to sleep and then get you back to your life.  Throughout some of the courses I have included interesting situations, people and other random things I have come across in my 25+ years with the CHP to break things up a bit. Ok ok, enough about me. Close this window and start your course with B Line Traffic Schools today.

Winter Driving in California

20 Oct Blog | Comments

Every season, in every part of the world, that a person drives in comes with its own challenges. In the summer the heat can wreak havoc on a car’s engines. In the fall there could be leaves on the road, mixed with a little rain, makes for very slippery conditions.

With winter around the corner it is important to be prepared for changing weather conditions. In California, there could be rain, snow, windy conditions, and/or the sun to contend with. With that in mind, this article will go over important tips to keep in mind as those conditions change.

Overall/General Tips that should be implemented at all times:

  • It is always a good idea to keep an emergency kit in your car no matter what the weather is like.
  • If you plan to drink, have a plan. Either have the number for a taxi saved in your phone or have someone come who will not be drinking.
  • If you are going to be driving a long distance take frequent breaks and when possible share the driving.
  • NO TEXTING or talking on your cell phone, you need both your hands and all your attention on the road.

As the temperature changes the rain comes:

  • Check the windshield wipers on your car. If they are old and/or brittle it is time to change them for the season.
  • Go back to the rule you learned when first started driving, keep 3 seconds of distance between you and the car in front of you.
  • To avoid hydroplaning try not to use your brakes unless necessary. Just remove your foot from the accelerator and slow down.
  • Never, or at least try to avoid, driving through large bodies of water. You just don’t know how deep the water is and your car could get flooded or swept away.
  • If while you are driving it rains so hard that you can’t see, pull over as soon as it is safe and wait for the rain to slow down.

Snow Country Driving:

  • Make sure all the necessary parts of your car work properly, like: windshield wipers, heater, and defroster.
  • Tires are also very important. Make sure they are inflated properly and that the tread meets the road requirements.
  • Having chains that fit your tires are a great idea, so long as you know how to put them on, should it become necessary.
  • You should already have an emergency kit, but heading into Snow Country it would be advisable to have a few extras like: blankets, water, food, etc…
  • Never drive in a hurry. The conditions can go from bad to worse very quickly in Snow Country. The last thing you want to do is be in a hurry. Being in a hurry makes people sloppy drivers and when it comes to snow, that can cause an accident or death.

The changing seasons are beautiful if you are not the one driving. If you are the one driving you need to take the necessary precautions to keep you and any passengers as safe as possible. Taking little steps before the weather turns bad can save so many bigger problems later.


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