Winter Weather Driving Tips

RICHMOND - As Virginian’s get ready for yet another winter storm, AAA calls on motorists to be prepared for whatever nature brings to the Commonwealth.

“Winter weather weary motorists in Virginia are going to have to dig deep yet again as snow and ice are headed our way and roadways are likely to be impacted,” said Martha M. Meade, Manager, Public and Government Affairs, AAA Mid-Atlantic.

“Being prepared to stay home can be as important as having your car ready should you be an emergency services provider or someone who must venture out if conditions allow,” said Meade.

Ten Top AAA Tips for Safe Winter Driving

1. Remove ice or snow. Take time to remove the snow from the entire car so it doesn’t blow onto your windshield or the windshields of other drivers. Clear windows, mirrors and lights.

2. See and be seen. Make sure windshield wipers and defrosters are in good working order. Fill the windshield washer fluid reservoir with a winter cleaning solution that has antifreeze components to prevent it from freezing. Turn on your headlights to be seen by other drivers.

3. Increase following distance. A greater cushion of safety between vehicles can prevent crashes.

4. Pay attention. Now is not the time to be distracted by electronic devices or anything else. Watch other vehicles. Actions by other drivers will alert you to problems and give you extra seconds to react.

5. Slow and Steady. Drivers who move cautiously are more likely to maintain control of their vehicle and if control is lost then the lower the speed often the less severe the incident.

6. Beware of bridges and overpasses. Bridges, areas under them and overpasses freeze faster than other road surfaces.

7. No cruising. Don’t use cruise control in precipitation and freezing temperatures.

8. If your tires lose traction, steer in the direction you want to go. If the drive wheels start to spin or slide while going up a hill, ease off the accelerator slightly and then gently resume speed.

9. Know your car. Guard against SUV overconfidence. SUV’s have the same difficulty keeping control and stopping as other vehicles.

10. If you don’t have to drive don’t. Find alternate means of transportation or wait to drive until the streets are treated.

AAA further reminds drivers to check their Emergency Road Kit to make sure it is replenished.

“Being a cautious driver cannot guarantee anyone that they will not become stranded and being prepared for that possibility is critical, “ Meade added.

“Being stranded without anyway to help yourself, stay warm, or call for help would be much worse than having everything you need to deal with the situation.”

AAA recommends the following be included in every car’s emergency road kit.

•Bag of abrasive material (sand, salt, cat litter) or traction mats
•Snow shovel,
•Flashlight with extra batteries,
•Window washer solvent
•Ice scraper with brush,
•Cloth or roll of paper towels
•Jumper cables,
•Extra warm clothing (gloves, hats, scarves) AND blankets,
•Warning devices (flares or triangles),
•Drinking water/ non-perishable snacks
•First-aid kit,
•Basic toolkit (screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench)
•FULLY CHARGED mobile phone with car charger pre-programmed with rescue apps and important phone numbers including family and emergency services

“AAA’s emergency road side teams across the state are preparing for the worst and will be ready to assist members who need them.

AAA does, however, urge anyone who does not need to go out to stay at home until the roads can be cleared so that our drivers can assist those who must head out and become stranded motorists as quickly as possible,” concluded Meade.


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