Tips on Driving in the Snow (When You Have to)
With Arlington County expected to get snow Wednesday, here are some tips on staying safe on the roads.
With the snowfall expected to come Wednesday, here is some advice on staying safe while driving in the snow from the Virginia State Police.
Clear all windows and head/taillights of snow/ice before traveling.
Have an emergency kit and good supplies. In the winter months, AAA recommends that you keep the following items in your vehicle:
- A bag of abrasive material like sand, salt or kitty litter to sprinkle under your tires if you get stuck.
- A small snow shovel.
- An ice scraper.
- Windshield washer fluid.
- Jumper cables.
- Extra-warm items like blankets, hats and gloves.
- Water and snack food.
- First aid kit.
Use your headlights. To increase your visibility and to help other motorists see you.
Leave room. It can take a driver twice as long (and twice as much space) to stop a vehicle when driving in snow versus driving on dry pavement. You should leave twice as much room as you normally would between you and other vehicles on the road.
Slow down. Driving too quickly for the conditions is the biggest cause of snow crashes, according to Edmunds.com.
Don’t slam on your brakes. If you’re sliding on a patch of ice, hitting the brakes harder won’t stop you. Learn more about how to safely brake in snow and how to exit a skid here.
Or, don’t drive. If you can avoid driving in when roads are covered in snow or ice, that’s probably your safest bet. Walk when it is safe to do so.
Call 511 for road conditions or visit 511virginia.org – not 911 or #77, as these are for emergency calls only.