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AAA Issues Winter Weather Safe Driving Alert for Michigan

DEARBORN, Mich., (January 23, 2022) — Temperatures in the teens and the likelihood of snow may make for challenging driving conditions across Michigan. AAA – The Auto Club Group urges motorists to prepare their vehicles for an emergency and be cautious when driving in adverse weather conditions. According to data from the Michigan State Police, in 2020 two out of three (68%) traffic crashes that occurred during inclement weather were on snowy, slushy or icy pavement.

With this in mind, Michigan motorists are reminded that when it comes to driving in winter weather conditions, it's important to revisit the safe winter driving playbook. Although this holds true for even the most seasoned driver, additional caution is urged for new and mature drivers when it comes to the hazards of snow and ice. These tips are for everyone:

AAA Top Ten Tips for Winter Driving

  1. Before starting out, remove ice and snow from the entire car, mirrors and lights so you have clear driving visibility.
  2. Don't use cruise control in precipitation and freezing temperatures.
  3. Remember that four-wheel drive helps you to get going quicker, but it won't help you stop any faster.
  4. Familiarize yourself with your vehicle's braking system. Drivers with anti-lock brakes should apply firm, constant pressure while those without may need to pump the pedal in order to avoid loss of traction while stopping.
  5. Always drive at a speed that matches the prevailing visibility, traffic and road conditions – even if that means driving below the posted speed limit.
  6. Compensate for reduced traction by increasing your following distances (normally three to four seconds) to eight to ten seconds.
  7. Allow sufficient room for maintenance vehicles and plows, stay at least 200 feet back and, if you need to pass, go to the other vehicle's left.
  8. Watch for icy surfaces on bridges and intersections, even if the rest of the road seems to be in good condition.
  9. If you get stuck in snow or ice, straighten the wheel and accelerate slowly. Add sand, traction mats or cat litter under the drive wheels to help avoid spinning the tires.
  10. If your tires lose traction and you begin to skid, continue to look and steer in the direction you want to go. If the drive wheels start to spin or slide while going up a hill, ease off the accelerator slightly and then gently resume speed.

Additional winter weather driving tips are available through THIS LINK to AAA's How to Go on Ice and Snow booklet.

In addition to contacting AAA for roadside assistance via the toll free number, members can also use www.AAA.com or the AAA mobile app.

AAA Tips for Vehicle Prep

  1. Carry a charged cell phone and your AAA Membership Card
  2. Top off your gas tank
  3. Check washer fluid and anti-freeze, to ensure they are at adequate levels.
  4. Tires should be inspected to ensure they are properly inflated and have sufficient tread depth.
  5. Equip your vehicle with a snow shovel, ice scraper, jumper cables, flares, a flashlight and some warm clothing and blankets.

AAA in Michigan celebrated its 100th Anniversary - A Century of Service in 2016 and has over 1.5 million members across the state. It is part of The Auto Club Group (ACG). Connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America with more than 14 million members across 14 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories. ACG and its affiliates provide members with roadside assistance, insurance products, banking and financial services, travel offerings and more. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 62 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA's mission is to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve traffic safety. For more information, get the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.