NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodFrazier Park / Grapevine


Driving on the Grapevine? Here’s what CHP says to bring

Check your go-bag for the necessities, whether you live local or are just passing through
Posted at 6:41 PM, Jan 03, 2024
  • Video shows how drivers can prepare their vehicles for the weather– by packing a go-bag
  • Public Information Officer DC Williams with the Fort Tejon CHP lists some of the essentials to put in your go-bag


Kicking off the New Year with wet and cold weather, California Highway Patrol wants drivers to be prepared for what may be ahead down the road.

A “go-bag”– one of the essentials when it comes to traveling through the mountain communities.

Officer DC Williams, Public Information Officer with the Fort Tejon CHP, said, “It’s just something that when you’re traveling during the wintertime, especially the Grapevine that way, you’re prepared in case you get stuck in traffic or you get stuck in a closure.”

Preparing for unruly weather, road closures, and whatever lies ahead.

“We see people getting stuck if we do have to shut things down for at least several hours,” said Williams. “Sometimes it can go even longer than that and go for a day or two. But if that’s the case, we try to turn people around and get them to someplace a lot safer than being stuck on the roadway.”

So, when you prepare to pack up and go, here are some of the items the CHP recommends bringing:

  • Water
  • Blankets
  • Snacks
  • First Aid Kit 

Also, make sure you get:

  • A pre-trip inspection of tires and wiper blades
  • Full gas tank 

On top of preparing a go-bag, CHP says to check that your vehicle tip-top shape before hitting the road.
Williams said, “Make sure that your windshield wipers are working, or your tires and anchor are in good condition. You got the tread depth…”

Oftentimes, CHP does not know if they will need to shut down the Grapevine until the time comes.

“We can’t predict when we’re going to shut the freeway down,” said Williams. “It depends on the weather. It depends on the build-up of ice on the roadway.”

But there are a few ways drivers can try to stay on top of road closures.

Williams said, “If we’re doing escorts, there’s a good chance that we’re gonna be getting close to shutting things down. So that’s where you start getting the information as to what’s leading up to a possible freeway closure.”

One common cause for accidents on the Grapevine results from hydroplaning.

Williams says to drive slow and keep a big gap between you and the driver in front of you.

He said, “It’s not because of the snow that we shut it down. It’s because of the ice because a lot of cars have tires where they can’t get traction.”

And if you do start to lose traction, do not slam on the brakes or make any abrupt turns.

In this situation, the CHP says your safest bet is to slowly move your foot off of the gas.

Another common misconception is when to and when not to use chains.

Williams clarifies, “We never use chains on the freeways. The only time we use chains is when you’re going to the backroads. And so say you’re going up to go play in the snow. You’re gonna wanna have chains with you in case you are doing a chain check.”

Overall, if you plan on traveling through the mountain communities, Williams says, “... just plan, leave early, and as always stay buckled up.”

Additionally, Pine Mountain Club prepared a checklist for preparing your home, car winterization, as well as a car survival kit and home winter survival food checklist.

Stay in Touch with Us Anytime, Anywhere: