If you have to drive in snow, AAA offers tips to be safe

This week’s dangerous combination of a layer of ice followed by heavy snow will make for some treacherous driving conditions. For people who must navigate the slippery, snow-covered roads, AAA has these tips: Before you go

  • Be sure to check highway road conditions and reports. The Kansas Department of Transportation’s website at ksdot.org is a good place to start. If needed, postpone your trip.
  • Clean ice and snow off windshield wipers, the windshield and all windows.
  • Check fluid levels to make sure the engine oil, radiator coolant and windshield wiper fluid are filled.
  • Keep an emergency kit in the car that includes blankets, boots, water, nonperishable food, first-aid kit, flashlight, candles, matches or light, and a shovel.
  • Be sure your gasoline tank is full and your cell phone is fully charged.

On the road

  • Steer clear of slush mounds. Heavier, wet snow can form slush mounds, which can pull a car deeper into slush.

  • To keep traction and avoid skidding, use gentle pressure on the accelerator pedal when starting. If your wheels start to spin, let up on the accelerator until traction returns.

  • Minimize brake use on slippery, icy hills. To slow down while going down a hill, put pressure on the brakes slowly to avoid losing control.

  • If you hit a patch of ice, avoid braking. To regain traction, remove feet from the situation, look where you want to go and steer to get there.

  • Increase your following distance behind other vehicles to 8 to 10 seconds.

By Christine Metz

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