The month of January kicks off the new year, but also starts the coldest month of the year for Lander County residents. Historically, January averages 20 degrees and provides most of the county’s snowfall during the year.
With cold, wet weather expected in the coming weeks, Lander County residents are preparing for severe driving conditions once again.
According to weather.com, Battle Mountain is expected to average around 40-degrees throughout the month. Still, temperatures can range in highs and lows from day to day. For Battle Mountain, a record high of 66 degrees was recorded in 2012, and the record low logged in at -23 degrees in 1993.
“When the possibility of ice exists, slow down and turn off the cruise control,” said Nevada Highway Patrol Sgt. Arthur Aten. “If the road surface is shiny, it is probably slick and you will need to slow down and use your brakes cautiously. Every driving condition, except dry and sunny, is a reason to slow down.”
Aten said the posted speed limit is how fast one should go under perfect road conditions, and suggested drivers give themselves enough time for delays.
“Plan ahead; leave a little earlier if you need to,” he said. “Most importantly, wear your seat belts even at slow speeds — they can save your life.”
Aten also mentioned that regular car maintenance could help as well. Simply checking tire tread depth will help the driver understand if new tires are needed. Aten advises contacting your vehicle’s dealer or owner’s manual for recommended tread-depth.
Nevada winters can bring harsh and ever-changing weather conditions. Driving hazards such as limited visibility, black ice, avalanche-prone areas and snow removal equipment are just some hazards encountered on winter roads.
Nevada Department of Transportation officials suggest only traveling in winter weather when necessary and leaving enough time to reach destinations.
1. Before driving, check weather and road conditions by dialing 511 within Nevada (or 1-877-NV-ROADS outside of Nevada).
2. Share your travel itinerary, so others know when to expect you.
3. Remove snow and ice from all vehicle windows, mirrors, lights, turn signals and license plates.
4. Buckle up.
5. Turn on headlights to see and be seen.
6. Turn off cruise control.
7. Avoid quick starts, stops and fast turns. Accelerate, brake and steer smoothly and gradually.
8. Reduce speed. Speed limits are based on normal road and weather conditions, not winter road conditions.
9. Do not slam on brakes. Apply steady pressure on ABS-equipped vehicles and pump the brakes if necessary on non-ABS vehicles.
10. Always comply with all posted chain requirements.
11. If your vehicle has snow tires, install and use them between Oct. 1 and April 30.
12. Keep additional distance from other vehicles.
13. Watch for snow removal equipment.
14. Do not pass without good distance and sight clearance.
15. Use extra caution on bridges, ramps, overpasses and shaded areas- they may freeze first.
16. Maintain a high fuel level.
17. If the vehicle begins to skid, steer in the direction of slide and slowly remove foot from the accelerator.
18. Be aware of black ice.
19. If parked or stuck in snow, leave the window slightly cracked for ventilation and make sure vehicle exhaust system is clear of snow.
20. Always carry tire chains, especially when traveling in mountain passes or typically snowy area.
21. Remember, 4-wheel-drive vehicles cannot necessarily turn or stop any better than 2-wheel-drive vehicles.