HARTFORD, CT (February 9, 2021) – Even though it is not expected to be the biggest storm of the season, the timing of the morning snow is cause for concern, especially during COVID-19 when more drivers have been speeding, causing more serious, and too often deadly, crashes. And now there is concern the snow will only increase that risk.
“Because of COVID-19, there are fewer drivers on our roadways but more of those drivers are speeding and a snow storm during the morning commute will put everyone at greater risk,” says Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford. “AAA is urging all drivers, including those in SUVs or with four wheel drive, to adjust their driving behaviors for the conditions.”
According to research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, winter storms, bad weather and sloppy road conditions are a factor in nearly half a million crashes and more than 2,000 road deaths every winter.
AAA is encouraging drivers who can to stay home or off the roads until the storm has passed to do so. For those who must be on the roads...
AAA Offers These Winter Weather Driving Tips:
- Slow down – whenever there’s a change in conditions, it’s critical that all drivers adjust their driving behaviors accordingly
- Drive Defensively – increase following distance, which will allow more time to react if you or the driver in front of you loses control
- Limit distractions – always. But in bad weather, drivers should be looking ahead in anticipation of any unexpected changes in road conditions or traffic.
- Never use cruise control – drivers want to maintain full control of vehicle when roads are wet or snow covered
- Turn on headlights – so you can see and be seen
- If you do skid or lose control, always look and steer in the direction you want the vehicle to be headed
Winter Car Care:
Call volume to AAA has been extremely high in recent weeks with the extreme cold taking its toll on car batteries – even more so than usual because cars are sitting idle for longer periods of time during COVID-19.
Yesterday, AAA responded to more than 1200 calls for Emergency Roadside Service, just in the Greater Hartford area alone.
AAA Car Care Tips:
Check Battery - Starting an engine in cold temperatures can take up to twice as much current as needed under normal conditions. The average battery lasts 3-5 years in New England
- Have the battery and charging system tested by a trained technician.
- Make sure the battery terminals and cable ends are free from corrosion and the connections are tight.
- Check tire pressure - colder weather typically requires increasing tire pressure. Make sure pressure levels match those found in either the owner’s manual or on the driver’s door jamb, and note that pressure levels may be different for front and rear tire.
- Check tire tread – test tread depth twith a quarter. If all of Washington’s head can be seen, time for new tires.
- Spare tires – motorists should know whether their vehicle comes with a spare tire (many newer cars do not). This helps AAA know whether to send a light service vehicle (to put on the spare) or a tow truck for a vehicle without a spare.
Check Wiper Blades - The blades should completely clear the glass with each swipe. Replace any blade that leaves streaks or misses spots.
Check Washer Fluid - Fill the windshield washer fluid reservoir with a winter cleaning solution that has antifreeze components to prevent it from freezing.
AAA Offers FREE BATTERY and TIRE TESTING
- AAA provides FREE battery and tire testing for members at home or at work.
- AAA offers FREE battery and tire testing for members and non-members alike at any of our AAA Car Care locations (755 Queen St, Southington) or any AAA Approved Auto Repair.
Prepare Winter Emergency Kit
“Emergency supplies should always include whatever you would need to keep you - and your passengers - safe and warm while waiting for help to arrive”, Parmenter says. “And this year, that emergency kit should include a few extra masks, to ensure everyone can safely interact with anyone who comes to the rescue”.
Recommended Winter Emergency Kit:
- Masks/gloves/hand sanitizer
- Fully charged cellphone programmed with roadside rescue apps
- car charger and/or external battery for your phone
- bag of sand, cat litter, rock salt or traction mats
- wiper fluid, windshield de-icer
- flashlight with extra batteries
- first-aid kit
- windshield scraper and brush
- emergency flares or reflectors
- battery booster cables
- small shovel
- blankets, extra gloves, hats, scarves and socks
- hand/foot warmers
- drinking water and non-perishable snacks (protein bars, granola bars, pretzels, crackers)