5 THINGS TO KNOW: Tips on how to safely drive during winter weather conditions

Jan. 16—The Oklahoma Department of Transportation details safe driving during winter weather conditions.

1 What should I do before I leave?

Stay in when possible.

If you must travel, check the local forecast plus local media for closures, updates or locations to avoid.

Check for weather-related road conditions through or by calling toll-free 1-844-4OK-HWYS.

Make sure you have plenty of fuel. A good rule of thumb is to keep your fuel tank at least half full.

Notify a friend or family member of your planned route and when you expect to arrive.

2 What should I keep in my vehicle emergency kit?

Ice scraper or deicing spray

Jumper cables

Clay-based cat litter or sand


Warm clothes


High energy food

Flashlights with extra batteries

First aid kit

Bright fabric tie for the antenna


Paper towels

Flares or triangles to warn other vehicles

Bottled water

3 What should I do if I get stranded?

If you still can maneuver your vehicle, park clear of the travel lanes and down-wind of exhaust fumes.

Call for help and wait until it arrives. Stay in your vehicle with your doors locked.

Turn on your flashers so rescuers can see your vehicle.

For heat, run the vehicle in short intervals to conserve fuel, being careful of exhaust fumes. Crack a window to vent any built-up carbon monoxide. Check to make sure ice and snow have not covered or clogged the vehicle's tail pipe so dangerous fumes don't build up in your car.

Keep a winter weather kit in your vehicle including a blanket.

If your vehicle is in contact with a power line, stay inside. Warn others not to touch the car or the power line. If you must leave, jump clear and roll away from the car to avoid touching the car and the ground at the same time.

4 What should I do if I encounter a road clearing crew?

Keep at least 200 feet between your vehicle and road clearing equipment.

Do not pass road clearing equipment.

Wait for crews to complete road clearing before approaching bridges and overpasses.

Use caution when entering or exiting highways.

5 How can I see driving conditions before I begin to travel?

Travelers can call 1-844-465-4997 to receive the latest Oklahoma road conditions during times of inclement weather. An online map can be found by visiting or by downloading the Drive Oklahoma app on your smartphone.

—Derrick James