Winter driving tips for Tennessee drivers

With the approaching holiday season, many Memphis area residents will be traveling and must therefore be prepared for inclement weather. This time of year, our region can get rain, sleet or snow which can make roads and highways icy and treacherous. To help avoid either causing or being involved in a car accident, it's important to be prepared and to follow safe winter driving tips. 

Prior to starting out on any winter road trip, it's wise to ensure one's vehicle is maintained. Check to make sure a vehicle's battery, tires, windshield wipers and brakes are in proper working order. Additionally, it's a good idea to pack a first aid kit, warm blanket, food, water and emergency flairs. 

Ice or snow packed roads will be slippery and drivers would be wise to drive slowly and keep in mind that any driving maneuver, such as a lane change or deceleration, poses the risk that a vehicle's tires could slip or anti-lock brakes engage. 

When road conditions are slippery, traversing hills can prove to be especially challenging. Drivers traveling down a hill are advised to do so slowly. In the event a vehicle picks up too much momentum, applying the brakes could result in a spin out. When attempting to make it up a slippery hill, drivers should ensure a vehicle has sufficient momentum prior to starting up the hill. Depending on road conditions, attempting to accelerate while on an incline may result in spinning tires and a vehicle sliding backwards.

If road conditions are truly treacherous, drivers are advised to either stay home or pull off the road at the nearest exit and wait until conditions improve. Ensuring for the safety of all drivers and passengers should be the priority. 

Source: AAA, "Winter Driving Tips," 2014

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