Some parts of our area saw up to a foot of snow during the first official snowfall this winter season. Jana Tidwell from AAA Mid-Atlantic shared tips for the snowy commutes ahead of us.

Jana said the number one call AAA receives during the winter is for dead car batteries.

“People don’t realize the extreme drop in temperature, that extreme cold will kill car batteries.”

Before you get behind the wheel of your car, it’s important to clean off your vehicle completely.

“Those blocks of snow on the roof, on the side mirrors, on the hood…they become projectiles as you gain speed out there on the roadway and they can cause a lot of damage if not an unfortunate fatality.”

It’s also important to pack your vehicle emergency kit with items such as blankets, warm clothes, nonperishable snack foods, phone chargers and ice scrapers.

Next, take your time and increase the following distance between you and the car in front of you.

“You want to give yourself plenty of extra following distance so that you have room to maneuver and stop without hitting the cars in front of you or on the side of you.”

Jana also noted not to make any sudden, jarring moves with your vehicle including a sudden brake move.

“You want to make sure that you break slowly so that you don’t send your tires into a skid. Should you find yourself in a skid, don’t panic. Remember to hold onto your wheel and turn the wheel in the direction that you want the car to go.”

Take extra care on overpasses, ramps and bridges. For more information, visit AAA’s website.