AAA shares tips on how to prepare new drivers for driving in harsh winter weather

Virginia

VIRGINIA (WDVM) — Back-to-back snowstorms this week had many drivers unsure of how to handle the harsh conditions. It’s difficult for the experienced driver to navigate, let alone new, inexperienced drivers.

Morgan Dean from AAA says parents should practice safe driving on snow with their child, either in a large parking lot or a street near their home.

If the driver is caught in a storm and not near a safe spot to pull over, Dean says to dial the speed back, give space between other cars, and to drive in the treads of the car ahead. Dean says it’s also important to be cautious of ice that can cause the car to skid when changing lanes.

“If it’s a young person and they’re out on the road, and they feel like they are not there on their skills yet, it’s a good time for them to get off of the roads,” said Dean. “Maybe it’s stopping at a gas station, calling for mom or dad for help, or calling for somebody else to say, ‘I’m going to sit here for a while to see how conditions go.”

Dean also says to always dress for the weather outside, in the event that a quick trip to the grocery store could turn into a long, cold wait if a storm suddenly hits.

AAA is also encouraging drivers to pack a “survival” kit in their car, especially after drivers were trapped for hours on I-95 on Monday.

“While the backup on the I-95 seems an extreme example, hours-long delays on winter roadways are not unusual…These situations are hardly limited to the Northeast. We’ve seen the same from Georgia to Texas. Just a little bit of snow or ice can leave motorists stranded for hours on end.”

 Morgan Dean, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic

Below is a full list of materials AAA recommends keeping in your vehicle:

  • Mobile phone and car charger
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Jumper cables or jump pack
  • Basic toolkit (screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench, duct tape, plastic zip ties)
  • Tarp, raincoat and gloves to help stay clean/dry working at the roadside
  • Rags, paper towels or pre-moistened wipes
  • Warning devices (flares, reflective triangles or LED beacons)
  • First-aid kit
  • Drinking water
  • Snacks/food for your passengers and any pets
  • Ice scraper
  • Snow brush
  • Winter windshield washer solvent
  • Traction aids (sand, salt, non-clumping cat litter or traction mats)
  • Shovel
  • Warm gloves, clothes, hats and blankets for all passengers in your car

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