AAA Mid-Atlantic offers tips on how to prepare before the upcoming winter storm

AAA Mid-Atlantic offers tips on how to prepare before the upcoming winter storm
Winter storm preparations (Photo courtesy of AAA Mid-Atlantic) (Source: WVIR)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - With more winter weather expected to come our way, it’s critical to be prepared in case conditions become icy. That’s why AAA Mid-Atlantic is advising folks to pack essential items into cars, like a shovel, snow brush, and kitty litter ahead of time to prevent you from getting into a slippery situation.

“Leave early, drive slowly, give yourself extra space in front of you and the vehicle in front of you, and try and stay in cleared lanes if you can,” AAA Mid-Atlantic Spokesperson Morgan Dean said.

With another winter storm on the horizon in central Virginia, Dean is advising drivers to stay vigilant.

“When you’ve got wet pavement, you’re coming up on a bridge or an overpass slow down, and be concerned. Bridges and overpasses freeze first and they melt last,” Dean said.

Before the storm hits, Dean says you should pay close attention to your windshield wipers.

“When you get out of the car for the last time before the storm, make sure that they’re turned off. If you turn the car on and the windshield wipers are frozen to the windshield that can damage them because you can’t turn it off in time. It can actually rip the blades away from them,” Dean said.

If you’re on the roads and find yourself losing traction on ice, it’s important to not make any dramatic movements with the wheel.

“Don’t slam the brake on. You want to steer the car and you want to look in the direction you want the vehicle to go until you get back to a point where you have some traction and you can start to break again,” Dean said.

This year, Dean says car batteries are a huge concern right now during the coronavirus pandemic because many people are not using their cars as much as they used to. That’s why he recommends getting them checked before the storm approaches.

“If you have had any problems recently where your car is a little slow to start or you don’t think it’s giving you the power that it needs to when you’re starting it, get it checked out before the storm and before the cold weather hits,” Dean said.

Dean also recommends that people keep their cell phone charged at all times in case they get stuck on a roadway. It’s also important to park in a safe spot away from trees or power lines in case they fall during the storm.

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