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Monday Commute: Tips for Driving on Slick Roads

The hourly forecast for Northern Virginia calls for rain all day Monday and overnight into early Tuesday morning.

Tips for driving on icy roads in Northern Virginia. Patch file
Tips for driving on icy roads in Northern Virginia. Patch file

By Todd Richissin

The storm warning for the region is set to end Monday morning, but there's still plenty of lousy weather to go for Northern Virginia and DC.

The hourly forecast for Northern Virginia calls for rain all day Monday and overnight into early Tuesday morning. 

Temperatures during Monday morning's rush hour are forecast to be around freezing, and keep in mind that long before the warnings about snow and rain falling, plenty of leaves had already fallen from trees, which can add to the slick conditions. 

Here are tips on how to drive safely on slick roads:

Have an emergency kit and good supplies. In the winter months, AAA recommends that you keep the following items in your vehicle:

  • A bag of abrasive material like sand, salt or kitty litter to sprinkle under your tires if you get stuck.
  • A small snow shovel.
  • An ice scraper.
  • Windshield washer fluid.
  • Jumper cables.
  • Extra-warm items like blankets, hats and gloves.
  • Water and snack food.
  • First-aid kit.

Leave room. It can take a driver twice as long (and twice as much space) to stop a vehicle when driving in snow versus driving on dry pavement. You should leave twice as much room as you normally would between you and other vehicles on the road.

Slow down. Driving too quickly for the conditions is the biggest cause of snow crashes, according to Edmunds.com.

Don’t slam on your brakes. If you’re sliding on a patch of ice, hitting the brakes harder won’t stop you. Learn more about how to safely brake in snow and how to exit a skid here.

Or, don’t drive. If you can avoid driving in when roads are covered in snow or ice, that’s probably your safest bet. Walk when it is safe to do so.

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