Well, Wednesday marked the first day of winter, bringing along bitterly cold temperatures, snow, high winds, and ice.
Arctic air from a winter storm started forming on much of the East Coast on Friday. Forecasters previously and still warn that the winter weather will likely cause power outages and interrupt holiday travel due to heavy snow, blizzard conditions, and dangerously cold temperatures, USA Today reported.
If you’re traveling on the roads for the holidays, there are a few tips the AAA recommends drivers follow if they have to pass through snowy and icy conditions:
First things first. Prepare your car. Perform a maintenance check, especially on your tires. Also, pack cold weather items, such as blankets, extra food, spare clothes, a flashlight, a glass scraper, and any other items you readily need in an emergency.
Maintain a certain level of fuel. The agency advises drivers to keep at least half a tank of gas in their vehicles at all times.
Always check the weather of your route. If you are driving long distances, check the weather in the areas you must go through.
Notify someone that you’re traveling. Always let someone know you’re taking a road trip, your route, and when you’re supposed to arrive.
And if it’s a must that you have to drive in the snow, go slow and never use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface——ice and snow.
Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Keep in mind that traction weakens when driving on ice or snow. Press the gas slowly to regain traction and avoid skids. Add time to slow down because it takes longer when roads are icy.
Don’t follow closely behind a vehicle. Add five to six seconds in case you have to stop.
Don’t power up hills or stop while going up. Applying extra pressure on the gas peddle while going up a snow-covered road will make your wheels spin. Try increasing inertia before getting to the hill to make it up. And when you reach the crest of the hill, lower your speed and proceed downhill slowly.
And if you encounter an emergency and you’re stuck in the snow, never leave your vehicle. Responders will find you better if you stay. Also, clear your exhaust pipe to prevent deadly carbon monoxide gas from leaking into the vehicle’s passenger compartment while the engine is running.
Lastly, stay warm with the additional safety kit you stashed in the car and conserve fuel.
Stay safe! And Happy Holidays!