Extreme winter weather conditions can lead to extreme circumstances, including avalanches with slide paths that reach busy roads. Vehicles have been hit by avalanches before in Colorado and it’s important to know what to do ahead of time if you think your route is putting you at risk. Here are some tips from Washington State Department of Transportation.
1. Stay in your vehicle – The world is dangerous around you. There was just an avalanche and there could be another one. Stay in your vehicle and trust that help is on the way, especially if the avalanche occurred on a major roadway.
2. Turn your car off – The carbon monoxide that accumulates from a parked running car can kill you, especially when key parts of your vehicle are covered in snow. If you’re thinking about sparking a smoke, don’t do that either.
3. Stay warm – Immediately put on additional layers to prevent getting cold. There’s a chance you’ll be sitting around for quite some time with the car turned off.
4. Report it – Even though you might be caught in an avalanche, you might still have cell phone reception. Call emergency services to report the slide.
For more advice from WSDOT about driving around in avalanche-prone terrain, click here.
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