AAA ADVISES DRIVERS TO PREPARE NOW FOR IMPENDING SNOW STORM
AAA Car Care Locations in Richmond, Virginia Offer Free 42-Point Vehicle Safety Check Ahead of the Storm
RICHMOND, VA (Friday, December 7, 2018) – It may seem a bit early for Virginia residents to start preparing for snow storms, however as predicted by local meteorologists, southern and central Virginia will get a good dose of winter weather this weekend with some areas getting as much as a foot of snow or more.
Preparing now for winter weather, involves more than just picking up bread and milk at the local grocery store and there's no time like the present. AAA is advising drivers to take precautions now to avoid headaches on the roadways.
"The best advice is to stay off the roads when inclement weather hits," said Tammy Arnette, Senior Public Affairs Specialist for AAA. "If you must drive, be sure to prepare your vehicle and your mind for the weather event. Pack a winter emergency roadside kit in your vehicle, slow down when precipitation begins to fall and give yourself enough space between you and other cars around you in the event of a skid or sudden stop. "
- Gasoline: Make sure your vehicle has at least a half a tank of gas to avoid gas line freeze-up
- Battery: Cold-weather starts require a battery that is fully charged. Have your battery checked and replaced, if needed.
- Tires: Make sure vehicle tires are properly inflated and in good condition. To find the correct PSI (pounds per square inch) for your car's tires, locate the sticker on the driver's side door jamb. Do not use the PSI listed on the wall of the tire as that is the maximum recommended PSI for your tires.
- Windshield Wipers, washer, glass and vehicle exterior: See and be seen is key to safely driving during inclement weather. Make sure your wiper blades have been replaced in the past six months. If the wiper blades steak the windshield, it's time to have them replaced. Remember to fill the washer reservoir bottle with an antifreeze washer solvent and lastly free wiper blades of ice and snow before turning them on.
- Lights: Dirty headlights can make it harder for others to see you. Clean grime off headlights and ensure they working properly. Grime on headlight lenses reduce their effectiveness by as much as 90 percent.
- Brake System: The ability to slow the vehicle is critical in any driving environment. Have your brakes checked regularly and do not delay any necessary maintenance or repairs.
- Heating and cooling system: Make sure your vehicle's cooling system contains enough antifreeze to prevent freezing in cold weather. Keep the mixture fresh by changing it regularly and having the entire system checked for leaks.
- Winter Emergency Roadside Kit: Always carry an emergency roadside kit in your vehicle with items such as battery booster cables or jumper cables, warning flares or triangles, fully charged cellular phone and charger, bottled water, non-perishable snacks, window-washing solvent, cloth or paper towels, first-aid kit and a flashlight with extra batteries. In the winter, make sure your emergency roadside kit also includes a blanket, hat, gloves, ice scraper, de-icer, small shovel, abrasive material (sand, salt or cat litter), snow brush and traction mats.
AAA car care locations in the Richmond, Virginia area are offering a free 42-point safety check for motorists ahead of the storm. Vehicle safety checks will be available by appointment only and can be scheduled by contacting any one of the AAA Car Care locations below.
AAA Scott's Addition Car Care Insurance Travel Center
929 Myers Street
Richmond, Virginia 23230
AAA Glenside Car Care Insurance Travel Center
7009 W. Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23294
AAA Swift Creek Car Care Insurance Travel Center
13732 Hull Street Road
Midlothian, Virginia 23112
Winter Weather Driving Tips:
- Safety first - Buckle up and drive distraction free, every day. No exceptions.
- Increase following distance – Increase your following distance to at least 10 seconds to allow yourself time in the event you or the car in front of you loses control. The stopping distance required on ice at zero degrees Fahrenheit is twice the amount required at thirty-two degrees.
- Use extra caution on bridges and overpasses – Bridges and overpasses freeze first and melt last. Therefore, use extra caution as the roadway leading up to the bridge may appear fine but the bridge itself could be a sheet of ice.
- Accelerate slowly – Traction is the greatest just before the wheel starts to spin, therefore accelerating slowly will increase your grip on the road.
- Ease off 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 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 as the driver should be in full control of the vehicle at every second.
- 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.