CINCINNATI, Oh. (January 10, 2019) – As the region anticipates the first snow of the season, AAA is sending this refresher on winter weather driving tips to motorists.
In 2017, there were more than 13,000 crashes on Ohio roads during snowy weather, resulting in 26 fatalities and more than 2,800 injuries according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety crash reports (2018 state crash data is not currently available).
AAA offers the following tips as snow can impact travel plans:
- Delay: Consider delaying your travel plans until the snow ends and/or the roads are clear.
- Turn off cruise control: Avoid using cruise control when icy conditions are likely.
- Buckle up: Each and every passenger (including pets) should be properly restrained.
- Put down the phone: Eliminate all distractions while driving including phones and other electronic devices.
- Move Over: Remember the “Move Over” law when first responders, waste collection workers and emergency roadside assistance workers are assisting motorists and/or disabled vehicles.
- See and be seen: Remove snow/ice from the hood, roof, truck, lights, windows and mirrors.
- Slow down and give yourself more room: Increase following distance to at least 10 seconds.
- Stay in your lane: Avoid changing lanes, especially if snow and ice are built up between lanes
- Accelerate gently: If tires lose grip and start to spin, let off on the accelerator.
- Pay close attention on hills: When approaching a hill observe how other drivers are responding and keep far enough behind the vehicle ahead of you so that you will not have to slow down or stop. Once you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed as slowly as possible.
- Avoid slamming on the brakes: A skid can occur when you apply the brakes so hard that one or more wheels lock. Should a skid occur try to remain calm and steer in the direction you want the vehicle to go.
- Keep an emergency kit in the car: Keep a kit stocked with a fully charged cellphone and charger, snow/ice scraper, blanket, extra gloves, hats, flares or brightly colored hazard triangle, shovel, de-icer, kitty litter or sand and non-perishable snacks.
- Check your AAA membership status. Before you need service is the best time to check that you have service. Make sure your membership is up to date and the selected service level matches your lifestyle needs. AAA has varying levels of membership to fit every budget and lifestyle.
Roadside Rescue Team Gearing Up to Assist Motorists + Car Preparation Tips
The AAA Roadside Rescue Team is gearing up to assist motorists traveling this weekend as the area anticipates its first snow of the season.
AAA has responded to more than 800 calls for assistance since Tuesday morning as temperatures dropped dramatically after several unseasonably warm days.
Additionally, an analysis of year-to-year data shows that roadside assistance calls increased in 2018 compared to 2017. AAA provided roadside assistance to 200,736 motorists in the Cincinnati tri-state area in 2018 compared to nearly 194,000 in 2017.
"That’s more than 200,000 drivers who weren’t left stranded last year. We urge motorists to make sure their AAA membership is up-to-date, to make sure they are ready for winter weather, said Jenifer Moore, AAA spokeswoman.
With cold weather season upon us, drivers can check their vehicle to prevent two of the most common needs for roadside assistance—tires and batteries:
- Battery: Clean any corrosion from battery posts and cable connections and wash all surfaces with battery terminal cleaner or a solution of baking soda and water. Have the battery checked by a professional to ensure it is strong enough to face cold weather. AAA members can request a visit from a AAA Mobile Battery Service technician who will test their battery and replace it on-site, if necessary.
- Tires: Examine tires for tread depth, uneven wearing and cupping. Check tire pressures once a month when tires are cold, before driving for any distance.
To help drivers prepare for winter, AAA is offering free bumper-to-bumper vehicle maintenance inspections at all local AAA/Bob Sumerel Tire and Auto Centers and AAA membership is not required.
Other areas worth checking on a vehicle for winter weather include:
- Engine: Have any engine drivability problems corrected at a good repair shop. Symptoms like hard starts, rough idling, stalling or diminished power could signal a problem that would be exacerbated by cold weather. Engine hoses and belts should be inspected for wear or cracking.
- Fluids: Important system fluids such as engine coolant/anti-freeze, transmission and brake fluid should be checked and changed at recommended intervals.
- Exhaust: Have your mechanic check the exhaust system for leaks and look for any holes in the trunk and floorboards.
- Brakes: Inspect brakes as recommended in your owner’s manual, or sooner if you notice pulsations, pulling, noises while braking or longer stopping distance. Correct minor brake problems promptly.
- Wipers: Replace worn windshield-wiper blades. Purchase one-piece beam-type or rubber-clad “winter” blades to fight snow and ice build-up. Use cold-weather windshield washer solvent and carry an ice-scraper.
- Lights: Inspect all lights and bulbs and replace burned out bulbs. Clean road grime or clouding from all lenses.
AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to 59 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Ohio. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. AAA is a non-stock, non-profit corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app (AAA.com/mobile) for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com