If you have to get out on the roads during winter weather or want to make sure your home is ready for the frigid forecast, AAA Carolinas has some tips to keep you safe and warm.
Driving on Ice
Avoid unnecessary travel - Listen to authorities' recommendations and delay travel until road conditions improve.
Accelerate, decelerate and turn slowly - Things move more slowly on ice, so make sure to leave enough space between you and the car in front of you.
Try to avoid stopping - It takes less to get moving while still rolling rather than coming from a complete stop.
Don't power up hills - Applying extra gas on icy roads starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little momentum before reaching the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. Avoid stopping while going up a hill.
Don't use cruise control - In case you need to quickly reduce your speed by lifting off the accelerator, which is not easily accomplished with cruise control engaged.
If you get stuck in a skid - Lightly take your foot off the brake or gas and try to regain traction. Keep looking and steering in the direction you want to travel.
Keep an emergency kit in your car - Include an ice scraper, kitty litter or sand for traction, jumper cables, cell phone with a car charger, blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medications. Be sure to bundle up with a winter coat, boots, gloves and a hat in case you get stranded.
If you become snow-bound - Stay with your car as it provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to find you.
Stay on major routes - If you must drive, stick to roadways that have been plowed or treated and stay in the most recently cleared lane.
Use extra caution on bridges and overpasses - They freeze sooner because they are exposed to air on all of their surfaces.
Fill up on windshield washer fluid - Salt brine and sand from treated roadways will build up on your windshield, so be sure to have enough washer fluid to keep it clear. Try to use windshield washer fluid with a low freezing point to help keep ice and snow from sticking to your windshield.
Avoid distractions - Power off or store your cell phone, turn down the music and focus on driving.
Tips for your home
Stock up on essentials and emergency items - In case of loss of power or impassable roads, be sure to have several flashlights with batteries, a battery-powered radio and a car charger for your cell phone.
If you lose power - Avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer as much as possible to keep the temperature lower to keep items fresh longer. Unplug all appliances and leave only one light on to prevent a power surge.
Prevent pipes from freezing and bursting - Keep your home heated to a minimum of 65 degrees, open faucets enough to let them drip slowly and disconnect hoses from outside spigots. If pipes freeze, thaw them immediately or contact a plumber for assistance. Most homeowners insurance policies cover damage resulting from a freeze, but check your policy to make sure.
*All information provided by AAA Carolinas.
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