Getting There Safely

Winter travel can be hazardous. Having an enjoyable winter outing means getting there and back safely.

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What to Know

Plan Ahead

  • Know your destination. Make sure that you and your vehicle are equipped to get there and back safely. Asking yourself the following questions is a good start for planning your trip:

    • What will the weather be along the drive? (Keep in mind weather conditions can vary significantly between your home and destination).

    • Will I be traveling mostly on main roads or back roads? Back roads may not be a priority for snow plowing during snowstorms.

    • Does my destination have a parking lot that is regularly plowed? Is it a roadside parking area that might not be plowed (or where you might get plowed in)?

Take it Slow

  • Getting to your destination can take extra time in the winter. Give yourself time to warm up your car and clean off snow.

    • In New Hampshire, drivers are legally required to clear snow off their car before driving (Jessica's Law). No such law exists in Vermont; however, it is still important to clean snow off your car for your safety and the safety of those driving behind you.

  • Account for extra driving time in case road conditions are poor.  Drive cautiously and allow for additional stopping distance.

  • If you do find yourself running late, don't rush. The trails and snow will still be there. If you drive off the road because you were speeding, then you'll definitely be late.

Be Prepared

  • Proper snow tires are highly recommended for winter travel. All-wheel drive or all-season tires are not adequate substitutes for snow tires during poor winter road conditions. Studded snow tires can provide an extra level of traction for steep grades.

  • Be prepared in case you get stuck somewhere. A good rule of thumb is "could I safely spend an unplanned night in my car if needed to?"

  • Keep the following safety items in your car:

    • Snow shovel

    • Warm clothes

    • Sleeping bag

    • Food and water

    • Emergency heat kit: matches & tea light candles

    • Flashlight or headlamp

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