Winter driving advice in Jackson Hole

JACKSON, Wyo. — Love it or hate it, winter is right around the corner, and the snow is here. Record low temps in Jackson have already hit before Halloween. Fierce winter storms can form out of nowhere in Wyoming’s high plains and mountain regions, like this one that had occurred on Labor Day.

What are some good ways to prepare for driving through the unforgiving rocky mountain weather?

First and foremost, plan ahead. There are few instances more stressful than driving through a blizzard in the middle of Wyoming. If you are traveling long distances, be sure to check the weather forecasts and current road information.

Is your car ready for the cold and snowy days ahead? Driving in Wyoming is dangerous for all sorts of reasons, and snow only amplifies the risk. Teton County Emergency Management reminds the public to always carry an emergency kit in your car.

What should be in it? According to Ready.Gov, a national campaign designed to “educate and empower the American people to prepare for, respond to and mitigate emergencies,” every car’s emergency kit should include:

  • Jumper cables
  • Flares or reflective triangle
  • Ice scraper
  • Car cell phone charger
  • Blanket
  • Map
  • Cat litter or sand for better tire traction

Wyoming cars should also be equipped with solid winter tires and/or chains. Flashlights, warm layer or sleeping bag, and a tow rope are also recommended.

Additionally, the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) recommends making sure tires are inflated to the recommended pressure and brakes are in good working order. Be sure to replace old windshield wiper blades and add windshield antifreeze to window cleaning fluid. Keep the fuel tank full, and check all the other engine fluid levels. Make sure your headlights, taillights, and turn signals are functioning properly.

Keep all lights free of ice and snow, and use low beams when driving through blowing snow. Make sure all windows and mirrors are clear before starting a trip and remember to clean snow off shoes before getting in the car. A slippery accelerator and brake pedals are a safety hazard.

Once a car is ready to hit the wintery Jackson roads, drivers should ensure they are making smart decisions behind the wheel.

Please see winter driving tips in the graphic below:

More information on winter driving in Wyoming can be found in this online WYDOT brochure.

Drive safe out there, and stay warm.

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