During winter weather, motorists should use caution and care during the evening and morning commutes. As of today, AAA Michigan received 1,871 calls for road service statewide, twice the normal amount. The majority of calls were for dead batteries or lock-outs.
To ensure that they arrive safely at their final destinations, motorists should be sure to follow these winter weather driving tips:
- Slow down. Posted speeds are set for ideal conditions.
- Don't tailgate. Following the car in front too closely can result in a crash.
- Accelerate and brake gradually so wheels don't spin.
- Anticipate traffic lights and potential dangers.
- Improve visibility by clearing snow and ice from the entire car.
- Avoid hard braking. The best technique is "threshold," or "squeeze" braking. Apply the brakes firmly to a point just short of lock-up, then ease off the pedal slightly. Steady pressure is better than pumping the brakes. If your car has antilock brakes, apply continuous, firm pressure.
- Drive with headlights on low-beam.
- In a skid, ease off the accelerator and don't lock up the brakes. Carefully steer in the direction you want to go and straighten the wheel as soon as the car starts heading in the desired direction.
- Carry a winter survival kit consisting of: a cellular phone; small bag of abrasive material such as sand, salt or cat litter for traction; a snow shovel; snow brush; traction mats; flashlight; booster cables, blanket and appropriate winter clothing, including boots.
- If you become stranded, be sure to keep the exhaust tail pipe clear of snow. Run the engine no longer than it takes to provide heat.
AAA Michigan, experts in winter driving, provided these tips.