AAA offers winter driving advice
By AAA of Western and Central New York
Just when you thought spring was here, don't put away those winter driving skills! Winter weather isn’t over yet, and the New York region is seeing snow along with slippery roads. AAA has tips to keep everyone safe.
About 46% of crashes involving bad weather take place in the winter, making this the worst time of year for driving in treacherous conditions – even if spring is set to arrive next week.
AAA’s top three winter driving tips include slowing down; increasing space between yourself and other vehicles; and braking, then turning.
Additional important notes: If you go off the road, remain calm, and stay in your car with your seat belt on. If you are in an emergency situation, call 911. If you get stranded in your car, only exit the vehicle to clear the tailpipe of deep snow to ensure proper ventilation, then return to the car, put your seat belt on, and keep your window cracked open a bit until help arrives.
A digital roadside request is the fastest way to request AAA service. Simply go to www.AAA.com/RoadService or download the AAA mobile app. To place a phone call, dial 1-800-AAA-HELP.
Tips for Driving in Snow
√ Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
√ Increase following distances. The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to 10 seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
√ Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold braking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
√ Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads may only result in spinning your wheels. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill, and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill as slowly as possible.
√ Don’t stop going up a hill. It’s difficult to move up a hill on an icy road. If possible, get your vehicle moving on a flat roadway first before taking on a hill.
√ If possible, stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can.
As upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 862,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.