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Regional Snow Routes and Winter Driving 2011-2012

Information

City and county leaders from across the greater metropolitan area have worked to develop a regional map that highlights the best route choices for motorists when inclement winter weather strikes.

The end result is a map showcasing the roadways that individual communities consider their highest priorities during snow and ice storms. For Norman, the management of roadways include the spreading of abrasives (sanding), anti-icing applications (salt and chemicals) and snow removal and clearance (plowing).

Organized by the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG) and focusing on the Oklahoma City Area Regional Transportation Study (OCARTS) area, the snow route identification process involved the interaction of multiple municipal entities and agencies, including four counties, Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. A total of 16 communities have specific snow routes defined on the map. All entities and agencies worked cooperatively to address “gaps” in coverage between municipalities.

The impetus for the map and process came from a regional desire to improve public safety and accident avoidance. The map is not absolute. It does not reflect potential shortcomings in mechanization, manpower, remediation supplies or time. For example, snowfall can occur so rapidly, that roadway treatment and clearance may not be able to counter at an equitable rate. As such, the routes on the map indicate the roadways that municipalities realistically intend to first direct resources. It does not guarantee that the streets will be clear.

Norman City leaders encourage motorists to observe winter driving rules and to only drive on snow and ice covered roads when necessary. The snow routes presented are the best routes to take if and when drivers are out in a severe winter weather event.

Downloads

The regional snow routes map encompasses a large portion of the metro area, specifically the Oklahoma City Area Regional Transportation Study Area (OCARTS). Below are downloads in Adobe PDF format. Please read the descriptions to learn more about the specific map content.

Winter Driving Tips

Before You Venture Out
Year round, you can prepare yourself and your vehicle.

  • Make sure your brakes are in good working order.
  • Make sure headlights, tail-lights and signal lights are all working.

  • Check tires for tread wear and proper inflation.

  • Check your spare tire. Know how to change it.

  • Check condition of windshield wipers.

  • Check washer fluid reservoir.

  • Make sure battery is in excellent condition, and free of corrosion on tips.

  • Switch to a lighter grade oil in cold weather and make sure the oil reservoir is full.

  • Make sure radiator coolant is filled and hoses are firm and leak-free.

Keep an emergency survival kit in your vehicle.
The kit should include a few essentials:

  • Cell phone. Don't leave home without it!

  • Blankets, or an extra coat.

  • Small shovel and a bag of cat litter (for traction if stuck).

  • Safety flares.

  • Flashlight and extra batteries.

  • Jumper cables.

  • A red flag or cloth to signal for help.

  • Bottled water.

  • Non-perishable food.

  • First Aid supplies.

Driving Tips:

Before leaving home or work to venture out, find out about the driving conditions and prepare yourself mentally to drive defensively, and understand that you might encounter roads that are covered in snow and ice.

On the road

  • Slow down.
  • Buckle your seat belt.

  • Take note of the speed of the vehicle in front of you and adjust your speed accordingly. Also, look farther ahead in traffic. Action by other drivers will alert you to problems and give you extra time to react.

  • Don't be over-confidant if you are in a four-wheel drive vehicle. Ice and snow affects all vehicles the same.

  • Take extra caution on bridges or overpasses. Elevated surfaces freeze faster and may be more slippery when the roads are wet and icy.

  • Turn on your lights. This makes your vehicle more visible to others.

  • Plan your trip by avoiding streets that are hazardous in bad weather, such as those with hills, dangerous curves and heavy traffic.

  • Brake slowly. Avoid making sudden moves with brakes, steering or speed.

  • Listen to traveler's advisories and weather reports during your travel. Be prepared to stay off the roads if advised to do so.

If You Get Stuck:

  • Stay with your car unless there is a house in sight.

  • Make sure your exhaust pipes are free of snow.
  • Put on layers of clothing and wrap in a blanket.

  • Keep blood circulating by clapping your hands and stomping your feet.
  • Crack a window for ventilation.
  • Watch for other vehicles on the road and be ready to signal for help.

Safe travel around snowplows and sand trucks

  • Large trucks are usually spreading anti-icing materials from the back of the truck and may need to stop or take evasive action to avoid stranded vehicles. If you find yourself behind a sand truck, stay behind it or use caution when passing.

  • Plows turn and exit the road frequently. Give them plenty of room. Stay behind at a safe length.
  • On multiple lane roads, watch for snowplows operating in either lane.

  • Snowplows can throw up a cloud of snow that can reduce your visibility. Keep your distance. A snowplow operator's field of vision is restricted. You may see them but they may not see you.