With possible snow and ice coming to many parts of Oklahoma soon, AAA reminds motorists that getting around safely in winter conditions requires preparation, planning and patience.
“Now is the perfect time to make sure your vehicle is winter weather ready,” said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. “Sooner or later, you know we’re going to get hit with ice, snow and cold, windy conditions.”
You’ll need a good, strong battery. If you have doubts about yours, have it checked by an auto technician. Top off all fluids. Check belts and hoses for wear. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and check for adequate tread by using the penny trick. Pinch a Lincoln’s-head penny from the base between your thumb and forefinger, so that the top of Lincoln's head is showing. Place the top of Lincoln's head into the tire’s tread grooves in several places on the tire. If you can see above Lincoln's head as you do this, you’re ready for a new tire.
- Check weather conditions in the areas you’ll be driving. Chose major routes.
- Allow extra time to get there.
- Carry an emergency kit including jumper cables, ice scraper, snow brush, warm clothing, windshield washer solvent, working flashlight, orange triangles or flares, bag of abrasive material such as clay-based kitty litter or sand, first aid kit with extra bandages and, most importantly, a cellular telephone with charger cord.
- If you have a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, place added weight in the car trunk or pickup bed for greater traction. Cinder blocks or bags of sand work well.
- Clear off all windows and turn your lights on.
AS YOU ARE DRIVING
- Remember that bridges and overpasses ice up first.
- Anticipate the flow of traffic to avoid sudden stops or quick lane changes.
- Increase following distances to eight to ten seconds.
- All vehicles take about the same distance to stop, whether 4-wheel drive or not.
- Do not use cruise control when driving on wet or icy roadways.
- If you start to skid, don’t panic, let up on the brake or accelerator and look and steer in the direction you want the front of your vehicle to go.
- Your vehicle’s traction is greatest just before your wheels start to spin.