Caltrans Provides Travel Tips for Winter Weather Conditions


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District:  District 3 - Marysville
Contact:  Raquel Borrayo
Phone:  (530) 701-5209



MARYSVILLE – As the seasons change and temperatures cool, motorists traveling on state highways throughout District 3 may experience a variety of challenging weather conditions from fog and rain in the valley to heavy snow in the Sierra. Caltrans is providing travel tips for a variety of winter weather conditions anticipated in the coming months.

Dense Fog:

  • Reduce your speed to ensure a safe stopping distance.
  • Drive with headlights on low beam. Never drive with only the parking lights or fog lights on and avoid using high beams in fog.
  • Use extra caution when crossing traffic or busy intersections, especially in dense fog. Lower your window and listen for traffic you can't see.
  • Use windshield wipers and your defroster to improve visibility.

Rain or Flooded Roadways:

  • Reduce your speed to avoid losing traction and ensure a safe stopping distance.
  • Always drive with headlights on to improve visibility.
  • Make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition.
  • Don’t drive in water if you can’t see road markings. A vehicle can float in just one foot of water. It’s safer to turn around and find another route.
  • Try to stay in the middle lane where flooding is less likely.
  • Drive in the tracks of the vehicle in front of you. The vehicle ahead can displace standing water that’s on the road.


  • Make sure your brakes, windshield wipers, defroster, heater and exhaust system are in top condition and fill your gas tank before entering chain control areas.
  • Check your antifreeze and be ready for colder temperatures.
  • Check your tires. Make sure they are properly inflated and the tread is in good condition. A minimum tread depth of 6/32” is recommended for driving in snow.
  • Always carry chains and make sure they are the proper size for your tires and are in working order. Practice installing chains before you encounter snowy highway conditions.
  • It is also a good idea to take along water, food, warm blankets and extra clothing for unanticipated travel delays.

During winter months, motorists may encounter chain controls in mountain areas. When chain controls are established, signs will be posted along the road indicating the type of requirement. There are three levels of chain requirements in California.

Motorists are also advised that speed limits during chain controls are reduced to 30 mph on Interstate 80 and 25 mph on U.S. Highway 50. More information and tips for winter travel may be found online at Winter Driving Tips. District 3 also recommends following National Weather Service offices in Sacramento and Reno for up-to-date weather forecasts for the region. 

District 3 is responsible for maintaining and operating 4,385 lane miles in 11 Sacramento Valley and Northern Sierra counties. Check out Caltrans' “QuickMap” for current road conditions and chain requirements or download the free QuickMap app on the App Store or Google Play. Motorists also can call the California Highway Information Network automated phone service at 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).