LAS CRUCES – Winter-weather is here and the Department of Transportation is ready. The NMDOT is working around the clock to monitor the roads, report road conditions, spread salt and cinder and plow snow if necessary. In coordination with law enforcement, the NMDOT has some advice for drivers when traveling through unfavorable road conditions.

Tips to know:
• WEAR YOUR SEATBELT
Make sure everyone in the vehicle is properly buckled up.

•REDUCE YOUR SPEED
The best crash prevention on snow and ice is to SLOW DOWN and leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you.

•PRACTICE GOOD WINTER DRIVING TECHNIQUES
Keep your gas tank full, turn on your head lights, keep your windshield washer fluid full with antifreeze, keep winter driving chains in your vehicle, have a winter survival kit which includes – flashlight, hand warmers packets, first aid supplies, high energy snacks, bottled water, medications and read your owner’s manual for special instructions on driving 4-wheel drive vehicles and vehicles with ABS on snow and ice.

•AVOID DRIVING IN A SNOW CLOUD
Large vehicles, such as semi-trailer trucks and snow plows, may produce dense clouds of blowing snow that make it difficult for drivers to see. When drivers encounter snow clouds, they should stay back to avoid the cloud.

•PLAN AHEAD AND BE PATIENT
Delays are common during bad weather. Leave a little earlier and pack your patience.

•CHECK BEFORE YOU PASS
Know where a snow plow and blade are positioned on the road before trying to pass. On multi-lane highways, the plow can be in your blind spot. Before attempting to pass make sure it is safe.

•PAY ATTENTION TO WEATHER FORECASTS –TRUST THEM
Winter storms can become severe quickly, plan ahead and check the weather.

•DO NOT USE CRUISE CONTROL
Never use cruise control when the roads are slick. Using your cruise control can reduce your handling of the vehicle if your tires begin to skid or slip.

•KNOW YOUR CURRENT ROAD CONDITIONS
Visit the NMDOT website for current road advisory information at http://nmroads.com, or dial 511 in the state.