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November 19, 2015
Winter Weather Alert: Tips for Handling Skids and Other Safety Reminders from AAA Wisconsin
MADISON, Wisc., (November 19, 2015) – As much of Wisconsin prepares for a return to winter weather, AAA is issuing a reminder to motorists that snow and ice can create dangerous driving conditions that demand extra caution and modified driving behaviors. 
According to a recent AAA Consumer PulseTM Survey, 82% of motorists in Wisconsin report being concerned about losing control of their vehicle in poor weather conditions.  “Skids most often occur while braking or turning, so the best way to avoid them is to reduce your speed and increase your following distance,” said Nick Jarmusz, director of public affairs for AAA Wisconsin.  “You should also avoid using cruise control in wet conditions, and remember that having four or all-wheel drive does not assist in braking.”
If you do find yourself losing traction, AAA advises you to follow these steps:
  • Continue to look and steer in the direction you want the front of the vehicle to go.
  • Avoid slamming on the brakes.  Although this is a natural response, it will only further upset the vehicle’s balance and make it harder to regain control.  Instead, ease your foot off of the accelerator and gently brake if necessary.
  • Once the wheels have regained traction, slowly resume acceleration and gently steer to avoid a counter-skid.

In addition to slowing down and increasing distance, AAA also offers the following tips for motorists to stay safe during winter weather:
  • Take time to remove the snow from the entire car – not just the windshield and windows.  Snow from your hood and roof can blow onto your windshield or the windshields of other drivers. Make sure your mirrors, lights and wipers are completely cleared as well.
  • Ensure that you have an adequate supply of windshield washer fluid in your reservoir.
  • Turn on your low-beam headlights, even during the day.
  • Watch for icy surfaces on bridges and intersections, even if the rest of the road seems to be in good condition.
  • When changing lanes, avoid cutting in front of trucks, which need more time and distance than passenger vehicles to stop.
Additional winter weather driving tips are available in AAA’s How to Go on Ice and Snow booklet, which can be downloaded at:
AAA also advises motorists to prepare an emergency kit for their vehicle, which should include the following: Cell phone and charger, jumper cables, warm gear for all potential passengers (boots, hats, gloves), blankets, flares, flashlight and extra batteries, extra food and water for all potential passengers, general first aid kit, non-clumping kitty litter, ice scraper, snow brush and shovel, and extra windshield washer fluid.
During severe winter weather AAA receives a high number of road service calls, and members should be aware that priority service will be given to those who are stranded or in a dangerous situation.  The most efficient way to request Roadside Assistance is through the AAA Mobile app on your smartphone.  AAA recommends that if you become stranded, it is best to stay with the vehicle.   If you can start your engine, run it only long enough to keep warm.  Make sure the exhaust pipe is snow-free. 
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America.  ACG and its affiliates provide membership, travel, insurance and financial services offerings to approximately 9 million members across 11 states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois, Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana.  ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with nearly 53 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety.
The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among residents living in Wisconsin from September 30, 2015 – October 20, 2015.  A total of 400 residents completed the survey, with 376 driving during the fall and winter months.  Survey results have margin of error of ± 5.1 percentage points.  Responses are weighted by gender and age to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the adult population (18+) in Wisconsin.


Nick Jarmusz
phone: 608-828-2495

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