Tips from AAA: Driving on ice never a safe choice - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Tips from AAA: Driving on ice never a safe choice

Posted: Updated:
Richmond, VA -

The following is a news release from AAA:

As precipitation begins to fall in Virginia, AAA urges drivers in affected areas to avoid driving until road conditions indicate.  "While some have more experience or a more suitable vehicle for snowy road conditions, there is no person or vehicle or amount of driving experience that can make icy roads a safe choice," said Martha Mitchell Meade, spokeswoman for AAA Mid-Atlantic. "AAA urges motorists to stay at home until roadways are clear."

For emergency personnel who must drive or for those who chose to ignore warnings, AAA offers the following tips:

  • Increase following distance – Increase your following distance to at least 10 seconds or more to allow yourself time in the event you or the car in front of you loses control.
  • See and be seen - Make sure windshield wipers and defrosters are in good working order. Turn on your headlights to be seen by other drivers.
  • Use extra caution on Bridges and Overpasses - Bridges and overpasses freeze first and melt last. Therefore, use extra caution as the roadway leading up the bridge may appear fine but the bridge itself could be a sheet of ice.
  • Accelerate slowlyTraction is greatest just before the wheel starts to spin, therefore accelerating slowing will increase your grip on the road.
  • Ease off of the gas pedalIf your tires begin to slip or you begin to skid, ease off the gas pedal until you regain control of the vehicle.
  • Brake slowly and gentlySlamming on the brakes on ice covered roads dramatically increases your risk of losing control of your vehicle.
  • Control the skid - In the event you find your car skidding, ease off of the accelerator or brake, and steer in the direction you want the front of the car to go.
  • Never use cruise controlCruise control is not recommended when ice is on the road as the driver should be in full control of the vehicle at every second.
  • Drive in cleared lanes - Changing lanes unnecessarily puts you at greater risk of hitting a patch of ice between lanes that may cause you to lose control of the vehicle.

AAA also reminds drivers to keep an emergency winter weather kit, including the following items, in their car at all times:

 

Winter Weather Driving Kits should include:

  • Blanket
  • Ice scraper
  • Flares
  • Flash light (with extra batteries)
  • Jumper cables
  • Bag of abrasive material such as cat litter
  • Shovel
  • Cloth or paper towels
  • Cell phone with a full charge

Once today's storm passes and ice turns to rain, motorists must not become overconfident or misjudge road conditions. "With the temperature in many parts of Virginia hovering at the freezing mark and ice changing over to rain, AAA warns motorists to beware of black ice. The storm now hitting Virginia will likely produce areas of black ice not only during the storm but possibly into tomorrow morning's commute," Meade added

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