AAA wants GA motorists to be cautious in dangerous winter weather

Press Release

TAMPA, FL — Weather forecast predict snowy conditions and frigid temperatures in Georgia for the remainder of the week that can endanger motorists if the proper safety precautions are not met. AAA expects double the call volume in response to stranded motorists in unprepared and/or unmaintained vehicles.

"It's not the initial snowfall that's the problem, it's the next morning when the snow melts and becomes black ice," Dan Herman, AAA Training and Safety Supervisor, Fleet Operations in Atlanta.

What to do to Make Sure Your Car Battery is Reliable in Frigid Temperatures:

  • The lifespan of the average vehicle battery is 3 to 4 years. Once your battery gets into this age range, have it tested prior to any long trip.
  • Always replace a bad battery with a new one that has a Cold Cranking Amperage (CCA) rating equal to, or higher than, that of the original equipment battery. This rating can be found on a label affixed to lead acid batteries.

Tips for Driving in Snow and Icy Weather:

  • If you are able to, stay at home and do not drive until conditions improve.
  • Be cautious of black ice.
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don't try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
  • 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.
  • The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
  • Know your brakes. Whether you have anti lock brakes or not, 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 get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it. Because it takes longer to stop.
  • 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 down hill 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 have to be, watch the snow from indoors.

Safety Tips for Motorists Broken Down on Roadways:

  • Pull off to the right side of the road onto the shoulder where you are NOT in danger of getting struck by oncoming traffic.
  • Turn on your hazard lights; if you are stranded on the roadway and are concerned for your safety, call the police so they can send a police officer to manage traffic.
  • If you need to exit your car, wait for help as far away from it and traffic as possible.

AAA Auto Club South has 79 branch offices serving more than 4.1 million members in Florida, Georgia, West and Middle Tennessee and Puerto Rico. Since its founding in 1938, AAA Auto Club South has worked to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve travel safety.

Source: AAA Auto Club South