Get ready for winter driving

For most people in the Carson City area, Thanksgiving is a day filled with family, football and tons of food. But for some area emergency crews it can be a holiday headache.

Thanksgiving represents the beginning of colder weather, increased traffic and lots of car accidents, said Nevada Highway Patrol spokesman Tony Almaraz.

"It's one of the the most dangerous times on our highways," he said. "You see more weather and more travelers. Whenever you compound the number of drivers on the roads, you are going to see more accidents."

Almaraz said winter driving seems to bring out the worst in some drivers. He added that common sense solutions can prevent most driving problems.

Before setting out on a road trip, Almaraz said, it is important that drivers are fully equipped for inclement driving conditions or a vehicle breakdown.

"Bring chains if you're going to the mountains. Bring warm clothes. Bring a flashlight, a cell phone and bring water," he said. Almaraz stressed the importance of putting chains on the driving wheels, a mistake he says can be a factor in spinouts.

Jim Gasway of the Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority echoed Almaraz's winter driving tips.

"Allow some extra stop time for the car in front of you and back off a little bit," he said. "People just don't pay attention like they should.

"Don't worry about the cell phone," Gasway said. "That call will still be there when you get where you're going."

Both Gasway and Almaraz said when it's cold and snowy, having blankets and warm clothes in the car can be useful if it breaks down.

"You'd be surprised at the number of people who head out without being prepared," Gasway said.

"Being prepared for winter driving is easy," he said. "It's when people's minds aren't in the game; that's when accidents happen."


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