Big Bear Lake, CA, November 22, 2013 – Winter weather in the San Bernardino Mountains both beckons tourists and catches them off guard, so here are some important reminders on how to stay safe on high-elevation highways.
1. Remember, the law requires all vehicles to carry tire chains on board during winter driving in the mountains, no exceptions.
2. Install tire chains in a turnout or parking lot, not in the road.
3. Don’t pass snow plows, as their drivers have limited visibility, and you’re likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.
4. Decrease your speed in snowy/rainy conditions and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. Allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you. Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.
5. Don’t assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.
6. Never cross the double-yellow line on mountain highways.
7. Pack a winter safety kit when driving to Big Bear. Include blankets or sleeping bags, water, food, candles, matches, cat litter, an ice scraper, a radio and batteries, and a rope. Pack extra medication and store the kit so it is reachable
8. Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
9. Keep your lights and windshield free of snow.
10. Check our Roads Page for tire chain requirements as Caltrans updates them.