January was a busy month for AAA Kansas, handling 7,670 calls during the month. With a large amount of snow anticipated over the next couple of days, we’re as ready as can be, but it’s important to remind everyone to stay home unless absolutely necessary. If you absolutely have to be out, be prepared, and we offer these tips:
AAA offer these tips to drivers who choose to venture out:
- See & be seen – clean all snow and ice from the entire vehicle
- Always wear your seatbelt
- Avoid distractions – don’t talk on your cell phone
- Keep a safe distance – If you are driving in wet or snowy conditions, give yourself at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
- Brake gently to avoid skidding, and use low gears to avoid losing traction. Gentle pressure on the accelerator pedal when starting is best method for retaining traction and avoiding skids. If your wheels start to spin, let up on the accelerator until traction returns.
- Avoid passing plows unless necessary
- Use major routes that have been cleared or salted whenever possible
- Do not engage your vehicle’s cruise control. Using cruise control on wet roads or during heavy rain can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
- Keep your headlights on
- When driving on the highway, stay out of the pack. This is especially important when driving during times of heavy snow causing limited visibility. AAA Executive Vice President, Jim Hanni, says “Stay out of packs, stay alert, look around and leave yourself an out. Your goal is to be proactive, rather than reactive”.
- If you are involved in an accident, either stay in your vehicle, or get well away from where the traffic is approaching
Emergency Travel Kit suggestions:
Carry an emergency kit equipped for winter weather. The kit should include:
- Mobile phone, pre-programmed with rescue apps and important phone numbers including family and emergency services…and car charger.
- Drinking water
- First-aid kit
- Non-perishable snacks for both human & pet passengers
- Bag of abrasive material (sand-salt-cat litter) or traction mats
- Snow shovel
- Extra warm clothing (gloves, hats, scarves)
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Window washer solvent
- Ice scraper with brush
- Cloth or roll of paper towels
- Jumper cables
- Warning devices (flares or triangles)
Basic toolkit (screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench)