Home » AAA offers tips for driving in snowy and icy conditions

AAA offers tips for driving in snowy and icy conditions

LEXINGTON, Ky. — AAA Bluegrass is urging drivers to be prepared for the conditions they are likely to encounter if they have to be on Kentucky roadways this week.

“In declaring a State of Emergency, Gov. Andy Beshear reminded that transportation on, and access to, any and all public roadways in areas most affected by this week’s severe winter weather may be restricted or prohibited in the interest of public health and safety. Motorists should heed all travel warnings for their area and not venture out unless absolutely necessary during severe winter weather,” Weaver Hawkins said. “AAA is reminding anyone who must drive on icy or snow-covered roads to be prepared for the conditions and to go nowhere―not even a short distance―without a full tank of gas, a fully charged cell phone―loaded with the AAA Mobile App or the AAA Roadside assistance number pre-programmed―and a fully stocked emergency kit.”

AAA has the following additional tips for driving in winter weather:

  • Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in winter conditions, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate. Stay home until crews can properly treat roadways.
  • Check road conditions. Before you leave, assess the conditions of roads along your route. A good source for this is the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s road condition site, https://goky.ky.gov.
  • Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on ice- and snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning―give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Apply the gas slowly to regain traction and avoid skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry and take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
  • Manage a skid. If you lose traction and begin to spin or skid on snow or ice, don’t slam on the brakes. Steer in the direction you want the front of the vehicle to go, until your tires regain traction.
  • 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.
  • Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
  • Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
  • Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. 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.

More details are available in AAA’s resource, “How to Go on Ice and Snow,” found at https://exchange.aaa.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/AAA-How-to-Go-Ice-Snow.pdf.

AAA Bluegrass is urging drivers to be prepared if they have to be on the roadways.Staying Safe if Stranded

Whether you have a long commute to work or just need to drive a short distance to the store, preparation is key to staying safe should a vehicle breakdown happen in extremely cold temperatures.

Drivers are advised to prepare a winter emergency kit now and stow it in the trunk or cargo area of their vehicle to have it immediately available should the need arise. AAA warns that more than 40% of motorists do not carry an emergency kit in their vehicle.

The emergency kit should include:

  • Fully charged mobile phone (pre-programmed with the AAA Mobile App or other rescue apps and important phone numbers including family and emergency services), and car charger or extra battery pack
  • First-aid kit
  • Bottled water
  • Non-perishable snacks for both human and pet passengers
  • Blankets
  • Extra warm clothing (coat, gloves, hats, scarves)
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Bag of abrasive material for traction (e.g. sand, salt, coarse cat litter)
  • Snow shovel
  • Ice scraper with brush
  • Jumper cables and or portable jump-starter pack
  • Warning devices (flares or triangles)
  • Basic toolkit (screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench)
  • Extra winter-blend windshield washer fluid

Many of the winter emergency items listed above – plus pre-assembled multi-item kits – are available, at a discount to AAA members in the online store at AAA.com. Some emergency kits may also be available at local AAA retail locations.

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