Public Affairs Specialist, OH
O: (513) 762-3105 ext. (5503105)
C: (513) 401-4911
CINCINNATI, OH – (December 15, 2019) A wintry mix of rain, sleet and snow may create dangerous driving conditions overnight into Monday morning’s commute. AAA is urging local drivers to prepare tonight with these winter weather driving tips.
“Monday’s are typically busy days at The AAA Roadside Rescue Team Headquarters,” said Jenifer Moore, AAA spokeswoman. “We expect to have an even busier day tomorrow, and our team members are gearing up for the wintry conditions.”
Hazardous storms and inclement weather are a factor in more than half a million crashes and more than 2,000 road deaths every winter, according to research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAA is encouraging drivers to be prepared. White knuckle driving on slick roads often intensifies when roadways have increased traffic, especially during rush hour.
Freezing rain and ice may challenge drivers even before they attempt to leave home.
AAA recommends drivers take action before icing conditions begin:
- Protect vehicle: If possible park car inside garage or under a cover like a carport.
- Dry and lubricate surfaces: Wipe down and dry weather strips and surfaces around doors and windows. Apply a lubricant (WD40, cooking spray and even Vaseline work well) to the weather stripping to prevent freezing.
- Windshield wipers: Pull wipers away from your windshield to prevent them from freezing to the windshield.
- Use the right windshield washer solvent: Make sure windshield washer solvent is the correct type for winter. Summer rated solvents will freeze and can cause cracking and serious damage to the washer reservoir.
AAA offer tips after icing conditions affect vehicles:
- Ice coated windshield/windows: NEVER pour hot water on windshield or windows, this can cause the glass to break. Use vehicle defrosters to melt ice for easier removal. Don’t use windshield wipers to remove ice – this will damage the blades.
- Frozen windows: Do not continue to push the power window buttons if the window is frozen, it can damage the mechanics inside the door and can also cause the window to break.
- Frozen locks: Never use water to thaw frozen locks, instead use commercial deicing products or heat the key and lock with a hair dryer. A lighter can also be used to heat the key.
- Frozen windshield wipers: If windshield wipers are frozen to the windshield, use the heater and defroster to melt the ice before turning the windshield wipers on. When you arrive at your destination remember to pull the windshield wipers away from the windshield to prevent refreezing.
Drivers are urged to use caution if freezing rain occurs because ice-coated roadways can be treacherous.
- Turn off cruise control: Avoid using cruise control when icy conditions are likely.
- Buckle up: Each and every passenger (including pets) should be properly restrained.
- Put down the phone: Eliminate all distractions while driving including phones and other electronic devices.
- Slow Down, Move Over: Remember the “Move Over” law when first responders, waste collection worker, tow truck drivers and emergency roadside assistance workers are assisting motorists along multi-lane roadways.
- Use extreme caution on bridges and overpasses: Black ice typically forms first in shaded areas of the roadway and on bridges and overpasses that freeze first and melt last. Although the road leading up to a bridge may be fine, the bridge itself could be a sheet of ice.
- See and be seen: Remove snow/ice from the hood, roof, truck, lights, windows and mirrors.
- Slow down and give yourself more room: Increase following distance to at least 10 seconds.
- Stay in your lane: Avoid changing lanes, especially if snow and ice are built up between lanes
- Do not tailgate: normal following distances of three to four seconds on dry pavement should be extended to a minimum of eight to ten seconds when driving on slippery surfaces. The extra time will provide additional braking room should a sudden stop become necessary.
- Accelerate gently: If tires lose grip and start to spin, let off on the accelerator.
- Pay close attention on hills: When approaching a hill observe how other drivers are responding and keep far enough behind the vehicle ahead of you so that you will not have to slow down or stop. Once you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed as slowly as possible.
- Avoid slamming on the brakes: A skid can occur when you apply the brakes so hard that one or more wheels lock. Should a skid occur try to remain calm and steer in the direction you want the vehicle to go.
- Keep an emergency kit in the car: Keep a kit stocked with a fully charged cellphone and charger, snow/ice scraper, blanket, extra gloves, hats, flares or brightly colored hazard triangle, shovel, de-icer, kitty litter or sand and non-perishable snacks.
- Check your AAA membership status. Before you need service is the best time to check that you have service. Make sure your membership is up to date and the selected service level matches your lifestyle needs. AAA has varying levels of membership to fit every budget and lifestyle.
Tips for Braking on Ice:
- Minimize the need to brake on ice: if you’re approaching a stop sign, traffic light or other area where ice often forms, brake early on clear pavement to reduce speed. Maintaining control of your vehicle is much more difficult when braking on ice-covered roadways.
- Control the skid: in the event of a skid, ease off the accelerator and steer in the direction you want the front of the car to go.
- If your car has an anti-lock braking system (ABS): do not remove your foot from the brake during a skid. When you apply the brakes hard enough to make the wheels lock momentarily, you will typically feel the brake pedal vibrate and pulsate back against your foot. This is normal and the system is working as designed. Do not release pressure on the pedal or attempt to “pump” the brakes.
- If your car does not have an anti-lock braking system: keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to modulate the pressure applied to the brake pedal so the brakes are at the “threshold” of lockup but still rotating.
AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 60 million members nationwide and nearly two and a half million members in Ohio. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.