HAMILTON, NJ, March 5, 2015 – Snow is blanketing the region making driving hazardous. Motorists should stay home and off the treacherous roadways during a heavy snowstorm, but if you do have to drive – prepare, prepare, prepare. 

Make sure to pack your winter weather driving kit (blanket, ice scraper, flares or reflective triangles, flashlight with extra batteries, jumper cables, bag of abrasive material such as cat litter, shovel, cloth or paper towels, and cell phone with a full charge).

AAA Mid-Atlantic offers the following tips for a safe journey:

  • Dress for the Occasion- Dress as if you were going to be stranded, don’t run out of the house without a coat, boots and gloves. 
  • Buckle Up-Use seat belts every time you are behind the wheel.
  • Reduce speed -Be patient. Doubling or tripling the normal following distance provides more time and distance to react to road conditions, upcoming events and other drivers. Getting there is more important than getting their quickly.
  • Avoid abrupt motions-   Anticipating the need to change lanes, make a turn or react to another driver helps drivers avoid the need for abrupt driving maneuvers.
  • See and Be Seen- Driving with a snow or ice covered windshield, windows, side-view mirrors or head / brake lights invites a crash. Make certain windshield wipers and defrosters work well and use no-freeze windshield washer fluid

Skidding on a slick surface?

·         Don’t panic - Be calm. To regain control, take your foot off the brakes OR smoothly take your foot off the accelerator. Steer into the direction you were traveling to regain traction.   Then, begin to accelerate slowly.

·         With anti-lock brakes (ABS) - keep the pedal depressed and do not pump the brakes—this type of braking system performs that function automatically.

·         With non-ABS vehicles - the correct procedure is to apply the brakes firmly. If the brakes “lock-up,” slowly release the brake pedal until the tires are no longer skidding and proper braking returns.

·         SUV & 4-wheel drive overconfidence - These vehicles are great for initial traction and avoiding getting stuck, but once they are moving, they have the same difficulty keeping control and stopping all vehicles face.