Tips from AAA: What to know about driving in winter weather

OKLAHOMA CITY — The 4Warn Storm Team is predicting possible winter weather headed for Oklahoma at the end of the week.

AAA is urging drivers to take action now to be prepared if and when the snow and ice arrive.

“Thankfully, most of the things we need to do to winterize our vehicles are easy and cheap; the trick is to get them done before it’s too late,” Chuck Mai said, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. “During AAA’s Car Care Check-ups, the most frequent problems we find are under-inflated tires, dirty oil, weak batteries and low fluid levels under the hood.”

In an effort to help motorists get ready, get set and go during this year’s winter driving season, AAA Oklahoma has some winter weather driving tips.

What to know about driving in winter weather:

  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. Your best traction comes just before your wheels start to spin. Also, drivers should take time to slow down for a stoplight.
  • Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning; nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
  • Allow extra space between cars. The normal dry pavement following distance of two to three seconds should be increased to eight to 10 seconds. This increased margin of safety in front will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
  • Know your brakes. With antilock brakes, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
  • Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to stay moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until an upcoming traffic light changes, do it.
  • Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill as slowly as possible.
  • Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
  • Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you simply must be, watch the snow from inside.

For more information visit AAA.com