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Operations > Highway Maintenance > Winter Driving
Winter weather in New Hampshire can be challenging and drivers often face variable and changing road conditions. The NHDOT utilizes experienced and dedicated personnel, specialized equipment, and the latest technologies to provide the safest roads possible before, during, and after winter weather events and snowstorms. This web page offers drivers links to real-time weather and road conditions, the NHDOT's "Winter Snow and Ice Removal" policy, answers to commonly asked questions, and some suggestions for driving during winter conditions.

Real-Time Road Information

Statewide Driving and Weather Conditions | View Live Traffic Cameras | View Twitter based Updates

Dynamic Message Sign Speed Warning

NHDOT Winter Maintenance Snow Removal And Ice Control Policy
Every year residents call us with questions about our Snow Removal and Ice Control Policy.  This 11 page document details when and where we start plowing, sanding, salting, what types of chemicals are used, and other rules we follow during and after a winter event.

NH Winter Maintenance Map
This two page document features a color coded state map and a chart that details which roads are plowed or treated based on snow accumulation.

Frequently Asked Questions about Snow Plowing
This two page document answers several commonly asked questions about snow plowing during winter storms.

Winter Maintenance "Fast Facts"
Did you know that the NHDOT clears about 4 billion cubic feet of snow each year? That's a lot of flakes.  This one page document details several facts about NH State Highways and what it takes to keep them clear and safe to drive on.

Snow Removal in New Hampshire Brochure
This brochure combines the information from commonly asked questions (above) and the safe driving tips (below). Copies are available for distribution by calling 271-2693 to order a package (50) for your town hall or library.

Safe Driving Tips in Winter Conditions

Reduce Speed

1. When it snows, use your head not your feet. Slow down for wet, snowy, or icy conditions, when visibility is poor, or when conditions are changing or unpredictable. Stay alert!

2. Slow down when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges or shady spots. These are all candidates for developing "black ice" – a thin coating of clear ice that forms on pavement surfaces and is difficult to see.

3. Drivers should allow additional space between their vehicles and others. Winter road conditions often result in longer stopping distances.

4. Don't take chances when pulling out in front of approaching vehicles. Remember, they may not be able to slow down, and you may not be able to accelerate as quickly as on dry pavement.

5. Avoid using cruise control in winter driving conditions. You need to be in control of when your vehicle accelerates based on road conditions – don't let cruise control make a bad decision for you.

Driving Maneuvers

1. Stopping on snow and ice without skidding requires extra time and distance so use your brakes carefully. If you have anti-lock brakes, press the pedal down firmly and hold it. If you don't have anti-lock brakes, gently pump the pedal. Either way, give yourself plenty of room to stop. Brake early, brake slowly, brake correctly, and never slam on the brakes.

2. On snow and ice, go slowly, no matter what type of vehicle you drive. Even if you drive an SUV with four-wheel drive, you may not be able to stop any faster, or maintain control any better, once you lose traction. Four-wheel drive may get you going faster, but it won't help you stop sooner.

3. When you're driving on snow, accelerate gradually. Avoid abrupt steering maneuvers.

4. When you're driving on snow, ice or wet roads, merge slowly, since sudden movements can cause your vehicle to slide.

5. Look farther ahead in traffic than you normally do. Actions by other vehicles will alert you to problems more quickly, and give you that split-second of extra time to react safely.

6. Avoid distracted driving – texting, eating, handheld devices, etc.

7. Winter conditions call for different driving tactics. Ice and snow, take it slow - slower speed, slower acceleration, slower steering, and slower braking.

Safe Travel Around Snowplows

State Plow Truck
1. Don't crowd the plow. Snowplows plow far and wide – sometimes very wide. The front plow extends several feet in front of the truck and may cross the centerline and shoulders during plowing operations.

2. Don't tailgate or stop too close behind snowplows. Snowplows are usually spreading deicing 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 snowplow, stay behind it, leaving a safe distance. The road behind a snowplow will be safer to drive on.

3. On multi-lane roads, watch for several snowplows plowing in tandem. This type of plowing clears all the lanes of a multi-lane highway quickly and effectively with one pass.

4. Snowplows throw up a cloud of snow that can reduce your visibility to zero in less time than you can react. Drive smart. Never drive into a snow cloud – it could conceal a snowplow.

5. Snowplows travel much slower than posted speeds while removing snow and ice from the roads. When you spot a plow, allow plenty of time to slow down.

6. A snowplow operator's field of vision is restricted. You may see them but they may not see you.

7. Plows turn and exit the road frequently. Give them plenty of room.

Trip Preparedness

1. Before leaving home, find out about the driving conditions. Safe drivers know the weather, and they know their limits. If the weather is bad, remember, ice and snow, take it slow, or just don't go.

2. Before venturing out onto snowy roadways, make sure you've cleared all the snow off all of your vehicle including windows and lights, brake lights and turn signals. Make sure you can see and be seen. Always buckle up, and remember, when driving in winter, ice and snow, take it slow.

3. Give yourself extra time to reach your destination safely. It's not worth putting yourself and others in a dangerous situation, just to be on time.

4. Winter conditions can be taxing on your vehicle. Check your vehicle's tires, brakes, fluids, wiper blades, lights, belts, and hoses to make sure they're in good condition before the start of the winter season. A breakdown is bad on a good day, and can be dangerous on a bad-weather day.

5. Wear your seatbelt! Nearly three-quarters (71%) of all traffic fatalities in New Hampshire over the past 10 years involved non-seatbelt use.





New Hampshire Department of Transportation
PO Box 483 | 7 Hazen Drive | Concord, NH | 03302-0483
Tel: 603.271-3734 | Fax: 603.271.3914

copyright 2015. State of New Hampshire