Caltrans: Winter Driving Tips

By Staff Repors

(Victor Valley)-– Winter weather is upon us again and it is time to think about a few things before you take a drive to mountain areas.  Following are a few helpful tips that will make your trip a safe and enjoyable one.

  • First – fill up your gas tank!
  • Bring chains – even if it is not snowing.  Mountain weather is unpredictable and changes without warning.  Always be prepared!
  • Bring water, food, warm clothing, sturdy shoes/boots, and necessary medications.
  • Bring a charged cell phone and your cell phone charger for your vehicle.  Bring a flashlight or battery operated radio just in case.
  • Make sure your tires are in good condition and your vehicle is running well.
  • If you wish to install your own chains, use the chain control areas or turnouts close to chain control locations – NEVER block the roadway or put chains on next the road or shoulder.
  • Use the Caltrans permitted chain installers at convenient turnout locations.  They will have a yellow bib with an official Caltrans Encroachment Permit.  Do not allow non-permitted chain installers to put chains on your vehicle – for your safety and others.
  • Never play in the snow next to the roadway – it is dangerous for you, your kids, and other motorists.  Don’t allow sleds to slide onto the road.
  • Don’t have fires or barbeque along the highways or in the turnouts.
  • Always park in a safe location or turnout.  Watch for “no parking” signs – you don’t want to get a ticket, get towed, or have an unfortunate accident.
  • Make room for Caltrans equipment, CHP vehicles, and all emergency responders.  Stay clear of snow plows!
  • Take your trash with you (including diapers) – DON’T TRASH CALIFORNIA!
  • Slow down, bring patience, and be courteous.  Use turnouts if you are holding up traffic.
  • Never drink and drive…
R-1: Chains or snow tread tires required.  Snow tires must have a tread depth of 6/32” with a

“M & S” imprint on the tire’s sidewall.

R-2: Chains required on all vehicles except four-wheel or all-wheel drives with snow tread tires on all four wheels.  Four wheel drives must carry chains.  If you have four-wheel drive—engage it.  Use the “4-high” range only.  Use “4-low” only if your vehicle becomes stuck.
R-3: Chains required – ALL VEHICLES – no exceptions.

For chain control conditions Caltrans has implemented a user-friendly map on our website for your use at

For all other road conditions please use or call “511” from the Inland Empire before you travel.

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