Winter driving season in full swing
Anyone who has lived in Idaho for at least a year is well aware of the pendulum swing that characterizes the weather from…well, most of the year to most of the rest of it. January and February, however, are notoriously bad as far as unpredictability goes. We’ve already seen clear and sunny days, and we’ve already seen whiteouts with equally white-knuckle drives. As January moves on, the days where the two combine are likely to become more common, resulting in icy drives, or snowy drives with underlying ice, or slushy drives with everything else thrown into the mix.
Forecasts for the next few weeks anticipate a mix of snow, freezing temperatures, and rain. The combination of those factors often results in the worst driving outcomes, as overnight freezes often create ice that then becomes snowed over, disguising some of the most dangerous elements of navigating already messy roadways.
The Malad City and County road departments have been doing an amazing job of keeping up with the snowfall this year. Most of the local accidents so far this year have occurred on the interstate, rather than in town. Even so, because the weather patterns are not subject to normal work hours, drivers are cautioned by both state and local officials to exercise caution when heading onto the road when snow begins to fall, or the temperatures begin to rapidly drop. Plan extra time for any drives that are not emergencies, as often whiteout or roadway conditions cause traffic to slow considerably. Make sure your car is equipped with weather-appropriate tires, which have recently been inflated to specifications and inspected for wear.