If you must drive during icy weather, take precautions

If you must drive during icy weather, take precautions

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AAA warns people need to leave more following distance between your car and the one in front of you. AAA warns people need to leave more following distance between your car and the one in front of you.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -If you have to get behind the wheel in icy weather, there are some important things you need to remember.  

Driving experts advise people to plan ahead. Check conditions and seriously consider whether going out is necessary during an ice storm.  

"Think about whether you need to go to work or wherever it is you need to go, because tomorrow will be challenging if the predictions come true," said Don Lindsey, director of public affairs at AAA.

"If it's as bad as they say, I probably won't get out," said Clark Stooksbury, Knoxville resident.

The most best method of avoiding problems with ice is to keep your car covered, Lindsey said.  

"If you have to leave the car outside, cover up the door with a blanket or a plastic bag or something like that. Keep the rain from getting in and freezing on it," said Lindsey.

A frozen car key lock is also a possibility in an ice storm.

Applying a lubricant like WD-40 is usually recommended as the best option to unfreeze it.  

Many use other methods to unfreeze key locks, like using hot water, can be acceptable.  

Lindsey recommends staying away from using a lighter to heat up a key to fix a frozen lock, however.  

"The tumblers in car locks might be plastic, so if the key is too hot, that could physically deform the lock and make it hard to get into," said Lindsey.

Other helpful tips include:

  • Use a towel to wipe off any moisture the night before to ensure doors don't freeze shut in the morning
  • Cold temperatures can deflate tires and you might need to refill in the morning
  • If your battery is too weak to start, it's probably time for a new one
  • Never pour hot water on a car window covered in frost, it will crack the glass
  • Don't lower the tire pressure, doing so could create less tread on the tire.
  • Use an ice scraper to remove snow and ice from your windshield and all windows, including side and rear windows.

Of course, while actually driving, AAA warns people need to leave more following distance between your car and the one in front of you.

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