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AAA provides tips for wintry weather driving

With another winter storm affecting much of the country, it’s a good time to review safe driving tips for icy, wintry weather. Driving on ice and in winter conditions can be very challenging. The key to safe driving is to adapt your driving behaviors to these conditions. 

Avoiding driving during inclement weather is the best option. 

If possible, stay home. Only go out if necessary. Even if you can drive well in bad weather, it’s better to avoid taking unnecessary risks by venturing out.

Photo by Pixabay.com/Wintry driving requires some adjustments to the usual routine.

If you must go out, here are some helpful tips: 

Reduce speed and anticipate delays. Most snow and ice related crashes are caused by vehicles sliding off the road because they are traveling at speeds too great for the road and weather conditions. Posted speed limits are set for driving under optimal, dry conditions. If road and weather conditions are adverse, motorists should operate at a speed well below the posted limit.

Leave extra space between vehicles. Increase your following distance to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.

Avoid unnecessary lane changes. Changing lanes increases your chances of hitting ice between lanes, which could cause a loss of traction and, potentially, a crash.

Intersections can be especially slippery as ice thaws from the heat of idling vehicles. Water on top of ice is a very dangerous situation.

Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads will just make your wheels spin. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill slowly.

Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.

Black ice: Transparent ice may form on the roadway. If you notice ice forming on any object, assume that it is forming on the road surface as well. Bridges are usually the first surfaces to freeze. Drive slowly and, if possible, avoid driving on icy surfaces.

Buckle up: Ensuring that everyone in your vehicle is properly restrained is the single most effective thing motorists can do to keep themselves and their loved ones safe on the roads.

During cold snaps, calls for dead batteries and other service-related needs typically increase. AAA offers these additional reminders:

Always travel with a cell phone and car charger. 

AAA recommends that if motorists become stranded, it is best to stay with the vehicle. If the engine can be started, run it only long enough to keep warm. Make sure the exhaust pipe is snow-free.  

AAA makes it easy to request roadside assistance—by phone (1-800-AAA-HELP), app or online—and members can track the service technician’s progress as they make their way to your vehicle.

 About AAA – The Auto Club Group