AAA: Last-minute, common-sense driving tips
With winter weather forecasted for much of Virginia, AAA is urging motorists to be prepared so they don’t get stranded. AAA recommends motorists stay home and off the roads in treacherous conditions, but if you do have to drive – prepare ahead of time.
“Currently, AAA Roadside Assistance call volumes are at normal levels, but we’ll continue to monitor the situation,” said Martha Mitchell Meade, Manager of Public and Government Affairs. “We recommend motorists prepare ahead by equipping their vehicle with a winter weather driving kit. The kit should include: a blanket, ice scraper, flares or reflective triangles, flashlight with extra batteries, jumper cables, bag of abrasive material such as cat litter, shovel, cloth or paper towels, and cell phone with a full charge.”
“There are a few common sense tips that we frequently see motorists forget, such as leaving a can of deicer spray in their cars where it does them no good,” added Meade. “Remembering to do a few simple steps will make the lives of motorists a lot easier for this winter storm.”
AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Tips
Dress as if you were going to be stranded. It can get very cold in a car on the side of the road waiting for help. Be sure to have extra blankets and to insist that children who may be traveling with you do the same.
Open the garage door before starting the car to prevent carbon monoxide build up. It is easy to lose track of time and carbon monoxide is almost impossible to detect and can be fatal when breathed in a confined area.
Bring your vehicle clearing supplies, such as your ice scraper, snow shovels, and deicer spray, inside. The very best prepared motorists will be frustrated to wake up and find all of their supplies frozen inside the car.
Check your antifreeze to ensure it will withstand the winter cold, using a 50/50 mixture of coolant and water to protect against freezing.
Never pour hot water on door locks or windows to deice them, as they may crack. Frozen door locks can be overcome by carefully heating the end of a key with a match or lighter. A squirt of de-icer spray is another quick method.