AAA-Texas wants to remind motorist about the challenges they may face driving in adverse conditions.
AAA-Texas recommends motorists to follow the simple guidelines below:
• Take it slow. Reducing speed and following at a safe distance is your best strategy for maintaiining control of your car and ensuring that you have plenty of room to stop or react to whatever happens in front of you.
• Focus only on driving. Distraction is always dangerous, but when you're trying to navigate icy streets and unpredicatable situations, it can be especially risky. Keep both hands on the wheel, turn the radio off, stay off the phone (even if it's hands-free) and pay attention to your driving.
• Clear your windows, head lights, tail lights, mirrors, roof, trunk, and hood before driving. Windshield wipers aren't designed to clear wet snow or ice off your windshield and they don't clear the entire surface.
• Plan ahead. Avoid travel during ban conditions. If you must drive, stick to daylight hours when visibility is better and more resources are available in case you get stuck. Always check on weather and road conditions before you get on the road. Charge your cell phone in advance, in case you have to call for help.
• Get your car serviced for winter conditions. Make sure tires have enough tread and are properly inflated so they'll grip on slick roads. Check anti-freeze levels to make sure you have the right levels for your region.
• Keep a winter emergency kit in your car. Make sure you have flares, safety triangles , colored cloths to tie on your antenna, and flashlights so you can stay visible if you break down. Pack blankets and extra warm clothes, food, and water in case you get stranded.
• Stay in your car. Stay out of the way of other cars that may be sliding on slick roads.
• Stay warm. Keep blankets and extra warm clothes with you to stay dry and avoid hypothermia. Huddle with other passengers to maintain body heat.
• If you get stuck call for help on your cell phone. Never talk on the phone while you're driving in bad weather.
• Run your engine and heater for a few minutes every hour if you have enough gas. Check to make sure the exhaust pipe isn't blocked.
• Keep a window closed. Opening the windows allows for fresh air in case doors and windows freeze.
• Set flares outside your car. Tie bright colored rags to your antenna so rescuers can spot you.