Tips for driving in winter weather

With winter weather likely in parts of the metro Atlanta area this weekend, AAA is urging drivers to take precautions.

The most important advice is to simply avoid traveling if possible. According to the Federal Highway Administration, 24% of all weather-related accidents happen in winter weather.

If you do have to drive this weekend, AAA says to reduce speed and stay calm.

  • Check traffic and weather conditions through your local media outlets before heading out.
  • Have a full tank of gas.
  • Wear your seatbelt.
  • Tires should be inspected to ensure they are properly inflated and have sufficient tread depth.
  • Don’t use cruise control.
  • Always travel with a cell phone and car charger
  • Equip your vehicle with a snow shovel, ice scraper, jumper cables, flares, a flashlight, medicines, and some warm clothing and blankets.
  • Check washer fluid and anti-freeze levels.

If you encounter black ice, it’s important to drive slowly and smoothly. Avoid hard acceleration, breaking, or steering and don’t “pump” anti-lock brakes. Be especially cautious on bridges and at intersections. If your tires lose traction and you begin to skid, continue to look and steer in the direction you want to go.

In the case of a power outage, remember that a blacked out traffic signal should be treated as a four-way stop.

If you do become stranded, stay with your vehicle. If the engine can be started, run it only long enough to keep warm, but make sure the exhaust pipe is snow-free.

Stay with 95.5 WSB around the clock for updated forecasts on the hour, half hour, and urgent severe weather information.

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