Snow Tips: Driving, Shoveling, Home - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Snow Tips: Driving, Shoveling, Home


Tips for Driving in the Snow: (Source: AAA)

-Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don't try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.

Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning - nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.

-The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.

-Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.

-Don't stop if you can avoid it. There's a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.

-Don't power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed down hill as slowly as possible.

-Don't stop going up a hill. There's nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill. Stay home. If you really don't have to go out, don't. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don't tempt fate: If you don't have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.

Driving: (Source: DDOT)


• STAY HOME AND OFF THE ROADS – Let road crews clear the roads
• Use caution when approaching intersections - During power outages treat all intersections as 4- way stops
• Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights - even the hood and roof- before driving
• Leave plenty of room for stopping.
• Pay attention don't try to out drive the conditions. Remember the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.
• Know the current road conditions
• Use brakes carefully. Brake early. Brake correctly. It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.
• Bridge decks freeze first. Due to the difference in the exposure to air, the surface condition can be worse on a bridge than on the approach road.
• Exit ramps are an even greater challenge during the winter since they may have received less anti-icing material than the main line. Be aware of this when exiting the highway.
• Don't use the "cruise control" option driving in wintry conditions. Even roads that appear clear can have sudden slippery spots and the slightest touch of your brakes to deactivate the cruise control can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
• Don't get overconfident in your 4x4 vehicle. Remember that, if you are driving a four wheel drive vehicle, the vehicle may help you get going quicker but it won't help you stop any quicker. Many 4x4 vehicles are heavier than passenger vehicles and actually may take longer to stop. Don't get overconfident in your 4x4 vehicle's traction.
• Look further ahead in traffic than you normally do. Actions by cars and trucks will alert you quicker to problems and give you a split-second extra time to react safely.
• Remember that trucks are heavier than cars. Trucks take longer to safely respond and come to a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them.
• Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows - stay back at least 200 feet and don't pass on the right.
• Most importantly, please remember to SLOW DOWN! Also, seat belts should be worn at all times - it's the law.


Home: (Source: DDOT)

-Make sure shovels and other snow removal equipment are in working order.

-Spread salt and kitty litter before the snow begins. Shovel to keep walkways around your property clear of snow.

-Know your neighbors, especially those who may need your assistance or who can assist you during or after a snow emergency. Use the time before a snow storm to develop a volunteer list to assist neighbors who are unable to shovel.

-Stock up on batteries for flashlights, radios, battery-powered computer games, toys, lamps and lanterns.

-Compile a list of family members’ medications, as well as phone numbers for doctors, pharmacies and emergency rooms.

-Stay warm but stay safe. Have alternative heat sources and plenty of blankets on hand in case of a power outage, but be sure to monitor space heaters and keep them away from curtains, tots and pets. Cover the windows and spaces around the doors to keep drafts at a minimum.

Car: (Source: DDOT)

-Put a 10-pound bag of cat litter, ice scraper, shovel, and blanket, flash light and emergency supplies in the vehicle.

-Keep gas tanks at least half full.

-Buy new windshield wiper blades and winterize your car and tires.

-Keep mobile telephones fully charged. Invest in a car charger.

-Identify alternate parking space(s), either on or off-street, particularly if your street is a Snow Emergency Route.

-If you must be on the road, drive slowly!

Safe Shoveling Tips: (Source:

-Use a smaller shovel

-Make sure your shovel isn't bent, tilting or otherwise damaged

-Take frequent breaks, even if only for a couple of minutes

-Stop and go inside if you become overheated

-Drink fluids

-Don't try to fling snow long distances

-Stop any time you feel pain

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