With ice and snow headed our way, Charlotte and state officials are urging drivers to stay off the road Friday and Saturday if possible.
But if you must get out, here are some tips to try to help you safely navigate the roads:
▪ Leave early. Allow twice the normal driving time to reach your destination.
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▪ Clear as much snow and ice from your vehicle – including on the roof and hood – as possible before you hit the road. Never pour hot water on the window to melt ice and snow, as this can crack the windshield.
▪ Slow down. Don’t let impatient drivers cause you to drive unsafely.
▪ Don’t use cruise control.
▪ Don't tailgate. It can take you between three and 10 times more distance to stop.
▪ Stop slowly. If you do not have antilock brakes, pump your brakes to slow down. If you DO have anti-lock brakes, hold the pedal down firmly to stop.
▪ Approach bridges and overpasses with caution. These areas and others at high elevations tend to freeze first.
▪ Drive in existing tracks. To help with traction, drive in paths already dug by other vehicles’ wheels.
▪ If you start to skid, take your foot OFF the gas and carefully turn the steering wheel toward where you want the wheels to go.
▪ Keep a survival kit in your car, including blankets, boots and gloves, hats and any necessary medications. Also carry a small shovel, jumper cables, and something that can be used for traction (cat litter, sand).
▪ If you’re stuck, stay with your vehicle. It could make it easier for rescuers to locate you.
Source: Observer archives, AAA Carolinas, National Weather Service