AAA Offers Tips for Snow, Ice Driving

Be ready for the snow and ice. The following are some winter driving tips from AAA.

  • Before leaving home or work, decide to take it easy and realize that your trip will most likely take longer than you expect.
  • Wear several light layers of clothing rather than one bulky one.
  • In a rear-wheel drive vehicle, place extra weight in the trunk for additional traction. Cinder blocks work well and are easily transported.
  • Make sure your have an ice scraper, snow brush, extra blankets, first aid kit, working flashlight, paper towels, jumper cables and a cell phone.
  • Clean all windows and lights to see and be seen.
  • While driving, avoid sudden movements with the steering wheel, apply brakes slowly and gently and accelerate gradually. This is how to avoid being thrown into a skid. If you do start to skid, don’t panic, take your foot off the brake or accelerator, whichever action first threw you into the skid. Then carefully steer in the direction you want the car to go and straighten the wheel as soon as the car begins to go in the desired direction.
  • Guard against all-wheel-drive overconfidence. These vehicles make it easier to get moving on snow-covered roads, but will not allow you to stop more quickly than other vehicles.
  • Allow extra space between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Anticipate traffic lights and time your approach so that you don’t get caught stopped on a steep incline.
  • Be especially careful while crossing bridges and overpasses. These structures are the first to freeze and can be surprisingly slippery when you least expect it.
  • Realize that you are sharing the road with many who may not have driven on ice and snow for quite some time. Drive defensively.
  • Remember that posted speed limits are set for ideal road and weather conditions. Slow down on ice and snow and be patient with other drivers.
  • Keep tires inflated to the recommended pressure. Under-inflating your tires will not increase your traction.

Updated 01-14-2005

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