Safe Winter Driving Tips

Please drive safely this winter and practice these safe driving tips:

  • Remember that speed limits are meant for dry roads, not roads covered in snow and ice. Reduce your speed and increase your following distance as road conditions and visibility worsen.
  • Be cautious on bridges and overpasses as they are commonly the first areas to become icy.
  • Keep a safe distance when following snow plows. This is critical because snowplows create a swirl of snow that can blind the driver of a car following too closely or cars approaching from the opposite direction.
  • Do not stop too closely behind a stopped snowplow. The operator may be preparing to back up and may not see you.
  • Do not pass a snowplow unless your visibility is perfectly clear and it is completely safe for you, the snowplow operator, and other vehicles. Snowplow operators may have limited visibility, and the road in front of them may be worse than the road behind.
  • Patience is necessary during snow season. The snowplow operator is working to provide safe road conditions for you and your family.
  • Use caution when snow banks limit your view of oncoming traffic.
  • Monitor road and weather conditions by checking local news stations or online traffic and weather sites.
  • Notify the Linn County Secondary Road Department at 319-892-6400 or via email if you are forced to abandon your vehicle in or along a county road. This may assist with your retrieval of the vehicle and reduce negative effect on the snow response.
  • Carrying winter survival materials is a good idea. It is particularly important in heavy snow events. When staying with your vehicle, you need a method to signal for help. Winter kits should include bright flagging and flashlight with batteries or emergency beacon, blankets, non-perishable snacks, and water. For additional tips on creating a winter weather safety kit for your vehicle, visit the National Weather Service website.