TOPEKA, Kan. – Jan. 10, 2018 – Weather forecasts are calling for a wintry mix of sleet, freezing rain and snow overnight and into Thursday morning across Kansas. This winter blast may create dangerous driving conditions late tonight and for the Monday morning commute. AAA Kansas anticipates a large increase in emergency roadside service calls as the cold front sweeps through and weather conditions deteriorate, with slide-offs and crashes due to slick roads expected, and battery/non-start problems due to the cold also likely.
Hazardous storms and inclement weather are a factor in more than half a million crashes and more than 2,000 road deaths every winter, according to research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAA Kansas is encouraging drivers to be prepared.
Winter precipitation may challenge drivers even before they attempt to leave home tomorrow morning. AAA recommends drivers take action before icing conditions begin:
Protect vehicle: If possible park car inside garage or under a cover like a carport.
Dry and lubricate surfaces: Wipe down and dry weather strips and surfaces around doors and windows. Apply a lubricant (WD40, cooking spray and even Vaseline work well) to the weather stripping to prevent freezing.
Windshield wipers: Pull wipers away from your windshield to prevent them from freezing to the windshield.
Use the right windshield washer solvent: Make sure windshield washer solvent is the correct type for winter. Summer rated solvents will freeze and can cause cracking and serious damage to the washer reservoir.
AAA offers these tips after icing conditions affect vehicles:
Ice coated windshield/windows: NEVER pour hot water on windshield or windows – this can cause the glass to break. Use vehicle defrosters to melt ice for easier removal. Don’t use windshield wipers to remove ice – this will damage the blades.
Frozen windows: Do not continue to push the power window buttons if the window is frozen, it can damage the mechanics inside the door and can also cause the window to break.
Frozen locks: Never use water to thaw frozen locks, instead use commercial deicing products or heat the key and lock with a hair dryer. A lighter can also be used to heat the key.
Frozen windshield wipers: If windshield wipers are frozen to the windshield, use the heater and defroster to melt the ice before turning the windshield wipers on. When you arrive at your destination, remember to pull the windshield wipers away from the windshield to prevent refreezing.
Drivers are urged to use caution if wintry weather occurs because snowy or ice-coated roadways can be treacherous.
“Motorists should heed travel warnings and stay home unless they absolutely must venture out,” AAA Kansas spokeswoman, Jennifer Haugh said. “AAA is reminding anyone who must drive on icy or snow covered roads to adjust their driving behaviors for the conditions and to go nowhere – not even a short distance – without a full tank of gas, a fully charged cell phone (loaded with the AAA Mobile App) and a fully stocked emergency kit.”