AAA Tidewater reminds drivers to be prepared for winter weather

Posted at 2:24 PM, Jan 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-18 14:24:15-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – With the potential for icy and slick roads in the forecast, AAA Tidewater is reminding drivers that icy conditions can make driving difficult.

“Over-confidence on icy roads can be both dangerous and deadly,” said Georjeane Blumling, vice president of Public Affairs for AAA Tidewater Virginia. “Ice is slippery no matter how good your tires are and even with four-wheel-drive. The key to safety is to adapt to conditions.”

AAA has some tips for drivers on how to stay safe when winter weather sets in:

  • Watch for black ice. Although it is mostly invisible, pavement with black ice is a little darker and duller than the rest of the road. Black ice commonly forms on highly-shaded areas and infrequently-traveled roads.
  • Use extra caution on bridges and overpasses. Bridges and overpasses freeze first and melt last. Use extra caution: the roadway leading up to the bridge may appear fine, but the bridge itself could be a sheet of ice.
  • Travel gently. Drive, turn and brake slowly. Adjust your speed to the road conditions and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
  • Be extra aware of the traffic ahead. If you see brake lights, fishtailing cars, sideways cars or emergency flashers, slow down even more.
  • Control the skid. If you are approaching a patch of ice, brake during your approach. Applying pressure to your brakes while on ice will only throw you into a skid. In the event you find your car is 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, so that you can have greater control over your speed.
  • 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.

In addition, AAA urges motorists to have a winter weather kit in their car. Winter weather driving kits should include a blanket, an ice scraper, flares/reflective triangles, a flashlight with extra batteries, jumper cables, a bag of abrasive material such as cat litter, a shovel, cloth/paper towels and a cell phone with a full charge.