AAA Urges Caution with Icy Roadways in the Forecast

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 With the potential for freezing rain forecast to move into the area this evening, AAA wants to remind motorists that driving in such conditions requires extreme caution and has issued tips to help motorists cope with the potentially icy roads.

“The first question you should ask yourself is whether you need to be on the roads,” said Roger Boyd, director of public affairs for AAA. “Icy roads are among the most dangerous conditions a driver can face and if you can avoid driving you should.”

However, if you need to be on the roads, AAA offers the following suggestions:

  • Make sure your tires have good tread and are properly inflated to give you the best traction possible. 
  • Ensure your ability to see by cleaning all your vehicle’s windows and mirrors and make sure they are free of ice and snow.
  • Use your accelerator and brake sparingly, slowly and steadily. Over acceleration and sudden braking can cause your vehicle to skid and create loss of control.
  • If you have anti-lock brakes and you need to stop suddenly apply firm and steady pressure. Do not pump the pedal or remove your foot from the brake.  You may feel the brake pedal vibrate and pulse back against your foot. This is normal. If you do not have anti-lock brakes, use threshold braking by leaving your heel on the floor and using the ball of your foot to apply the brakes firmly with steady pressure, just to the point of locking the brakes but not to the point of creating a skid.
  • Increase your following distance to at least 10 seconds between you and the vehicle you are behind. Use the extra distance to see how the vehicles ahead are reacting. Should you need to slow down or stop the you may need the extra distance to do so safely.
  • Do not use cruise control in potentially icy conditions.
  • If you find yourself in a skid, remain calm. Do not slam on the brakes. Use the aforementioned braking techniques and steer in the direction you want to go. This may require rapid back and forth steering until control is regained and the vehicle straightens itself.

“Pay attention to the reports on road conditions and follow the advice issued by official sources," Boyd added.

AAA East Central is a not-for-profit organization with 82 local offices in Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky and New York, servicing 2.7 million members.