California Highway Patrol and National Weather Service tips for safe driving through winter storms

Posted at 10:48 AM, Dec 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 13:49:45-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — National Weather Service Meteorologist Daniel Harty says if you're headed out the door today, drivers should be allow extra time to get to their destination and be aware of slick roads.

"Rainfall, we're expecting 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch in the Bakersfield area, Kern County, and part of the San Joaquin Valley. Snow levels will be pretty high especially starting out they will lower to about 5,000 feet by around noon, so maybe a little bit of dusting on the pass levels but not looking at any major impacts at the Kern County mountain passes," Harty said.

California Highway Patrol has safety tips for drivers if they encounter rough weather. CHP says if you're driving in rain, drive with headlights on, apply brakes slowly, leave extra distance between you and the car in front of you, and stay alert for vehicle hydroplaning.

If you're driving in snow, CHP advises drivers to always carry chains that provide better traction when stuck in snow, observe the speed limit, keep your gas tank full, and make sure your breaks, windshield wipers, defroster, heater, and exhaust system are in good condition.

Harty says there is also a freeze watch in effect for the San Joaquin Valley through Saturday morning so if you have outside plants or crops, this is the time to protect them.

"Any sensitive plants you definitely want to take those inside in that Friday night time frame, possibly freezing temperatures so we always remind people of the three p's: people, pets, and plants. You definitely want to make sure you take care of those pipes too if we do have some freezing temperatures," Harty said.

For current highway conditions, you can call 1-800-427-7623.