Winter is in full swing in Wyoming, and for those who don’t prepare, winter driving can be trecherous. Here are some tips on winter-proofing your vehicle and traveling in cold weather.
Like the Scout’s motto: “Be Prepared”, winter drivers should always be prepared when traveling in cold weather. Vehicle mishaps and unexpected traveling dangers can occur.
Getting stuck on some desolate road without emergency supplies and no help when the temperatures are at or below freezing can spell trouble.
Winter Proofing Vehicle Checklist
We have compiled a list of winter-proofing safety items you should keep in your vehicle when traveling in cold
- Tire Chains (Make sure they are the correct size for your vehicle)
- A Shovel
- Ice Scraper
- Kitty Litter or Bag of Sand
- Can of De-ice
- Extra Set of Wiper Blades
- Warm Blanket
- Water/Food (Energy bars are easy to store and convenient)
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Jumper Cables
- Matches or Lighter or both.
- Warm Jacket, pants, hat and gloves (Always keep a spare set of clothes at the ready).
Traveling In Cold Weather In Wyoming
While it’s recommended to shelter at home during snow or ice storms and when road conditions are bad, plenty of drivers throw caution to the wind and venture out anyway.
A good rule of thumb is to remember that during late fall, winter and early spring, because of freezing temperatures, road conditions can change rapidly
Here are a few tips for traveling in cold weather
- Check Your Tire Pressure – Make sure your tires are inflated properly for cold weather driving. In general tire pressure will decrease about 1 psi for every 10 degrees. Not sure how? Check out our articles on how to check tire pressure and TPMS.
- Replace Worn Out Windshield Wipers – If you have wipers that look a bit worn out, replace them.
- Check Your Windshield Wiper Fluids – When the temperatures are cold fluids can freeze. Buying Anti-Freeze windshield wiper fluid is highly recommended. Make sure to top off the wiper fluids.
- Allow More Braking Time – When driving on icy and snowy roads remember that it takes longer to stop or slow down. Stopping distances can be ten times greater than on dry roads.
- Keep A Full Tank Of Fuel – Don’t leave for your destination almost on empty. Don’t get stuck without fuel. Keeping more than half a tank of fuel in your vehicle helps avoid condensation build up which could then freeze.
- Check Your Headlights and Brake Lights – Many new cars come equipped with safety light warnings features. Please refer to your specific model owners manual for a list of light safety features and warnings. Another option is to do a manual safety check making sure the lights are working properly.
- Buckle Up – Don’t forget to buckle up and make sure your passengers are also wearing their seat belts.
- Adjust Your Speed For Conditions – As road conditions change, make sure to adjust your speed appropriately.
If you’re thinking about winter driving, don’t neglect your tires. Think about purchasing a good set of winter specific tires or if you have them already, make sure there are up to the task and don’t need replacing.
If you are uncertain, call your local dealership or tire service station for advice.
Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT)
The WYDOT contains all sorts of links on weather related road conditions including road cameras and road condition updates.
- WYDOT’s 511 Road & Travel Information Home Page
- Closures & Advisories
- Interstate 25 Web Cameras
- I80 Web Cameras
- I90 Web Cameras
- Non-Interstate Web Cameras
- Road Condition Map
- Road Conditions By District
- Atmospheric Sensors
- Road Conditions by City/Town
- Conditions by Route
Road Condition Updtes
When driving in Wyoming you can call 511 to get road condition information. Those traveling outside of Wyoming can call 888-WYO-ROAD (888-996-7623). You can also visit http://www.wyoroad.info/ There is also a phone App for those who prefer updates that way.
If you would like to receive updates, 511 Notify will send messages through text or via email.
Are you a seasoned winter traveler? What are your tips for vehicle winter-proofing and traveling in cold weather?