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Winter Weather is on the Way! AAA Advises Extreme Caution as Road Conditions Deteriorate

Automotive, Travel
snowy highway

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA., (January 21, 2014) As Virginia faces another threat for ice and snow, AAA Tidewater Virginia urges motorists to be prepared. According to crash facts provided by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), snow, sleet and ice caused havoc for over 13 percent of crashes and sadly an average of eight people perish each year in the Commonwealth due to these conditions.

Virginia Crash Facts






5 Year Average

Crashes Caused by Snow, Sleet or Ice







Fatalities Caused by Snow, Sleet or Ice







“Being prepared for the storm and knowing how to drive properly on slick or icy roads can make all the difference when precipitation starts to fall,” said Georjeane Blumling, Vice President of Public Affairs for AAA Tidewater Virginia. “AAA urges motorists to have a winter weather kit in their car which can help free the vehicle, warn the other motorists and keep the driver and passenger safe and warm.”

AAA advises motorists to be ready with a winter weather driving kit:

  • Blanket
  • Ice scraper
  • Flares/reflective triangles
  • Flash light (with extra batteries)
  • Jumper cables
  • Bag of abrasive material such as cat litter
  • Shovel
  • Cloth or paper towels
  • Cell phone with a full charge.

AAA also reminds motorists of basic safety tips for driving in wintry conditions. “When driving on snow covered or icy roads, motorists often make the mistake of being over-confident due to the fact that some roadways are clear. The same driver then hits a patch of black ice at a higher than recommended speed and the results can be devastating,” added Blumling.

Drivers are advised to heed the following tips:

  • Increase following distance – Increase your following distance to at least 10 seconds to allow yourself time in the event you or the car in front of you loses control. The stopping distance required on ice at zero degrees Fahrenheit is twice the amount required at thirty-two degrees.
  • Use extra caution on bridges and overpasses – Bridges and overpasses freeze first and melt last. Therefore, use extra caution as the roadway leading up to the bridge may appear fine but the bridge itself could be a sheet of ice.
  • Accelerate slowly – Traction is the greatest just before the wheel starts to spin; therefore accelerating slowly will increase your grip on the road.
  • Ease off the gas pedal – If your tires begin to slip or you begin to skid, ease off the gas pedal until you regain control of the vehicle.
  • Brake slowly and gently – Slamming on the brakes on ice covered roads dramatically increases your risk of losing control of your vehicle.
  • Control the skid – In the event you find your car is skidding, ease off of the accelerator or brake, and steer in the direction you want the front of the car to go.
  • Never use cruise control – Cruise control is not recommended when ice is on the road as the driver should be in full control of the vehicle at every second.
  • Drive in cleared lanes – Changing lanes unnecessarily puts you at greater risk of hitting a patch of ice between lanes that may cause you to lose control of the vehicle.

As part of North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA Tidewater Virginia provides its more than 330,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding AAA Tidewater Virginia has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.  For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter at


CST 1016202-80 Copyright © Tidewater Automobile Association of Virginia, Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
AAA Tidewater Virginia is a member club affiliated with the American Automobile Association (AAA) national federation and serves members in the Tidewater Virginia region (All Hampton Roads cities, including Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg; Virginia's Eastern Shore; as well as the following counties: Greensville, Surry, Brunswick, Isle of Wight, Gloucester, Lancaster, Middlesex, Richmond County, Southampton, Sussex, Mecklenburg, James City County, York, Lunenburg, Essex, King & Queen, Mathews, Northumberland, and Westmoreland).