Shorts Today, Shovels Tomorrow - Winter is Coming
Hamilton, NJ (February 8, 2017) – AAA is urging motorists to take time today to enjoy the warm weather but prepare for tomorrow. A winter storm warning has been issued for the region, with the heaviest snow expected during Thursday’s morning commute. Motorists should take advantage of the calm before the storm and check their tires, fill up their tank, and have an emergency kit ready to go.
“AAA reminds motorists to take advantage of today’s ‘calm before the storm’ to prepare for the storm that is expected to grip the region just in time for Thursday’s morning commute,” said Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Everyone runs out for groceries ahead of a storm, but don’t forget to fill your gas tank and pack your vehicle emergency kit. No one ever plans to get stuck. Being prepared is essential ahead of a storm.”
Assemble an emergency kit BEFORE you need it:
- Emergency kit items to include – deicer, shovel, ice scraper, sand or kitty litter (for traction)
- Pack a blanket, extra gloves and hat, heavy coat – if you’re stuck on the road for an extended period of time you’ll need to stay warm, especially if your vehicle is not running
- Pack snacks, beverages, etc. – have them packed by the door to take in the morning (so they don’t freeze in the car overnight)
- Charge your cell phone – have a backup power source for the car in case you’re stuck for a while
- Make sure your windshield wipers and lights (headlights, taillights, turn signals) are working properly – make sure you can see and can be seen
- Keep a FULL tank of gas
Though a snow day could be likely for some, others have no choice but to venture out tomorrow morning during the storm. AAA urges motorists to, if at all possible, wait until the storm has passed and roads are plowed and sanded before venturing out.
“If you have to be out, drive with caution and give road crews plenty of room to do their job safely,” says Noble. “For everyone’s safety on the roads, drivers should allow plenty of extra time to properly clean off their vehicle before getting behind the wheel.”
AAA will have its full fleet of roadside rescue vehicles ready, a stockpile of batteries, its call centers staffed and emergency responders ready to go but the hope is that drivers will do all they can in advance to avoid getting stuck out in the cold.
Brush up on your winter driving skills:
- Wait for the roads to be plowed and treated before venturing out – road surface condition is the single most important safety factor during a winter weather event.
- Thoroughly clean off your car – remove ALL snow and ice before driving anywhere. In New Jersey it’s the law.
- Warm the car up OUTSIDE the garage
- Drive SLOWLY
- Increase following distances
- Steer clear of snow plows and salt trucks – stay at least six car lengths behind these vehicles
- Accelerate and brake slowly – it takes longer to slow down on snowy, icy roads.
- Do not use cruise control and avoid tailgating - normal following distances of three to four seconds for dry pavement should be increased to eight to 10 seconds when driving on icy, slippery surfaces.
- Regardless of whether the vehicle has front-, rear- or four-wheel drive, the best way to regain control if the front wheels skid is:
- Continue to look where you want to go.
- Steer in the direction you want the front of the vehicle to go.
- Avoid slamming on the brakes. Although hitting the brakes is a typical response, slamming the brakes will only further upset the vehicle’s balance and make it harder to regain control.
- Wait for the front wheels to grip the road again. As soon as traction returns, the vehicle will start to steer again.
- When the front wheels have regained their grip, steer the wheels gently in the desired direction of travel.
- Use the “plant and steer” method with antilock brake systems. Do not remove your foot from the brake or pump the pedal. If you apply pressure and the wheels lock momentarily, you might feel the brake pedal pulse back against your foot. This is normal. Just hold the brake pedal down and steer. Pumping the pedal actually works against the system.
- Brush up on your driving skills with this AAA YouTube video: How to Drive in the Snow
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NJ Mailing Address:
700 Horizon Drive
Hamilton Township, NJ 08691
AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 56 million members nationwide and nearly two million members in New Jersey. 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 http://aaa.com