Richmond, VA -
The following is a news release from AAA:
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 slowly
– Traction is greatest just before the wheel starts to
spin, therefore accelerating slowing will increase your grip on the road.
- Ease off of the gas pedal
– If 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 gently
– Slamming 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 control
– Cruise control is not recommended when ice is on the
road as the driver should be in full control of the vehicle at every
- 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:
- Ice scraper
- Flash light (with extra
- Jumper cables
- Bag of abrasive material such
as cat litter
- 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