CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – AAA is encouraging residents to take caution when traveling this weekend with the high chances of ice and snow.

“With travel expected to turn treacherous, the best advice for motorists is to stay home if you don’t need to travel. For those who must be on the roads, AAA urges that they adjust their driving behaviors and prepare ahead of time for changing conditions to stay safe as the winter storm moves through the state,”

Lori Weaver Hawkins, AAA Blue Grass Public Affairs Manager

The company says there are a few steps drivers can take to remain safe on the roads.

  1. Make certain your tires are properly inflated and have adequate tread
  2. Check your battery
  3. Check your wiper blades
  4. Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up
  5. Ensure your AAA membership is up to date
  6. Prepare a Winter Emergency Kit

AAA Recommended Winter Emergency Kit:   

  • Abrasive material (sand, salt, cat litter) or traction mats
  • Snow shovel
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • De-icer
  • Ice scraper with brush
  • Jumper cables
  • Extra warm clothing (gloves, hats, scarves), and blankets
  • Warning devices (flares or triangles)
  • Drinking water and non-perishable snacks for both human and pet passengers
  • If traveling with an infant, be sure to pack extra food and supplies
  • First-aid kit
  • Basic toolkit (screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench)
  • Mobile phone pre-programmed with rescue apps and important phone numbers including family and emergency services and charger

Tips for Driving in the Snow

  • Avoid driving while you’re fatigued
  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area (such as a garage), nor leave a running vehicle unattended.
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly
  • Don’t follow behind other vehicles as closely as you would when driving in clear, dry conditions
  • Don’t be rough with your steering, acceleration and braking
  • Avoid braking on icy roads
  • Don’t power up hills
  • Don’t hit the brakes if you start to skid
  • Never use cruise control on slippery roads
  • Be sure your headlights are on
  • Limit distractions
  • Avoid unnecessary lane changes
  • If you get stuck in the snow or go off the road:
    • Stay with your vehicle
    • Don’t over-exert yourself
    • Be Visible
    • Clear the Exhaust Pipe
    • Stay Warm
    • Conserve Fuel
  • Stay home

Slow Down and Move Over for Emergency Vehicles and Disabled Vehicles at the Roadside
It is a state law in West Virginia that drivers must “Slow Down and Move Over” a lane, if they can do so safely, whenever they are passing emergencies vehicles at the roadside. This is especially important when roads are wet or snow-covered. “Slow Down, Move Over” is not just the law, it is a safe driving practice meant to protect first responders, tow truck drivers, public works employees and all motorists at risk of becoming disabled.