Brrr...snow in the Black Hills can cause dangerous driving conditions

Safety tips on how to drive safely in the snow.
Safety tips on how to drive safely in the snow.(Juliana Alford)
Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 7:37 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - According to the South Dakota Department of Transportation, snowplows operate from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., with extended hours during the wintertime.

Although road conditions are being monitored, driving in snowy weather can be dangerous. It is recommended if you are traveling in snowy conditions to watch out for icy spots and to drive slow.

According to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety bad weather and hazardous road conditions are a factor for about a half a million vehicle crashes every winter, and a cause of more than 2,000 deaths.

It is recommended to stay home when the weather is bad, but if you do need to travel there are some rules you should follow.

“Act appropriately, get out there and make extra time to get to your destination. Clear off the vehicle, drive the road conditions and not the speed limit, get to your destination safely,” said Darrell Shoemaker, communication coordinator for Rapid City.

In the event that you lose control of your vehicle and end up in a ditch the best recommendation is to remain calm and to not spin the cars tires trying to get yourself out. Instead move your wheels side to side to help clear the snow and if you are still stuck you can call a roadside service or local authorities if it is an emergency.

“Find an MRM (mileage reference marker) or mile marker so that when you do call and ask for assistance it is easier to pick you up and know where you’re at. But as always if you decide to go out and I hope you don’t, make sure you have your car full of gas, you got your emergency kit with you, and you got your cell phone so that we can locate you,” said Michael Carlson, Rapid City area engineer, SDDOT.

It is also recommended to keep a safe distance of at least three car lengths in front of you to avoid an accident if you slide on ice or snow.