UPDATE: Be careful driving in snow

Jan. 24, 2013 @ 02:57 PM

Weather forecasters are projecting up to 1.5 inches of snow, sleet and possibly freezing rain today in the greater High Point area. Law enforcement officers advise motorists not to drive in these wintry conditions unless they have to do so. But for those who do have to negotiate the roadways, here are some tips and advice through AAA Carolinas.

Increase your following distance between cars from three to four seconds to eight to 10 seconds. At 20 mph on dry pavement, it takes about 20 feet to stop. On icy roads at 25 degrees, it takes 145 feet to stop, or seven times longer.
Stop your vehicle gradually with steady pressure on the brake. If you begin to skid on an icy road, steer in the direction you want to go. If you do not have anti-lock brakes, gently depress the brake pedal. Don’t slam on your brakes, which can cause you to lose control of the car. If the brakes lock, release the brake and gently brake again while keeping your heel on the floor. Depress brake pedal again and repeat process until you regain control. If you have anti-lock brakes, keep the brake firmly engaged, since the brakes are designed and engineered not lock up.
Be careful driving up and down hilly, icy roads. Gradually build momentum at the bottom of the hill and reduce speed when cresting the hill to maintain control of your vehicle.
Be careful crossing bridges and overpasses, since they freeze before a roadway from the cold air under the surface.
At traffic lights or intersections, watch out for polished or packed snow, which can make stopping your car more treacherous. Slow down sooner and gradually when approaching an intersection to allow yourself time to react.
Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid freezing gas lines.
Don’t use wiper blades to clear ice or frost, since this can damage the blades. Use a scraper or can deicer. Make sure all windows are clear before driving.
Keep a winter emergency kit in your car. It could include a mobile phone, car charger, blankets, flashlight with extra batteries, a first aid kit, drinking water, a small shovel, a sack of sand or cat litter for traction, windshield scraper and battery booster cables.


Get ready later this week for winter weather round two.
A storm system could bring steady snowfall to the greater High Point area Friday, though accumulation isn’t expected to be as great as last week’s first snowfall of the winter season.
The storm system will move into the area Friday morning, producing snowfall about 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., said Ryan Ellis, meteorologist with the National Weather Service out of Raleigh. The wintry precipitation could start briefly as a mix of snow and sleet, but will quickly turn completely to snow, Ellis told The High Point Enterprise Wednesday afternoon.
“This storm is going to be different from the last storm (last week) in the sense that we’re not going to have a lot of widespread rain ahead of it,” Ellis said.
The snowfall should continue through about 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday, though the accumulation shouldn’t be as great as last week. The National Weather Service expects 1 to 2 inches of snow Friday, compared to 3 to 4 inches that covered the High Point area during last week’s snowstorm.
If High Point does receive snowfall Friday, it would mark the first time that the city and surrounding area had back-to-back weeks with snow in nearly three years. The last time that the High Point area recorded measurable snowfall in consecutive weeks was the first two weeks of Feburary 2010, according to National Weather Service records.

pjohnson@hpe.com | 888-3528