AAA East Penn, located in Allentown, recommends the following tips for driving on roadways which may be covered with snow and/or ice-a common occurrence at this time of year:€¢ Try to avoid driving when visibility is poor. If you must drive, keep your speed low, your vehicle's headlights on low beam, and pull off to a safe spot as soon as possible.

€¢ Normal following distance for dry road conditions (two to three seconds) should be increased to eight to 10 seconds when driving on icy, slippery roads.

€¢ On a four-lane highway, stay in the lane that has been cleared most recently. Avoid changing lanes because of potential control loss when driving over built-up snow between lanes.

€¢ Snowy or icy surfaces make steering difficult and require smooth, careful, precise movements of the steering wheel.

€¢ Stopping on a slippery surface requires greater stopping distance. About twice the distance is required on ice at 0 degrees as is required at 32 degrees-so slow down and allow more distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. An eight to 10 second gap between vehicles is recommended.

€¢ Always look and steer in the direction where you want to go.

Since more crashes involving property damage occur during the winter months than at any other time of year, AAA East Penn encourages all motorists to be prepared for adverse conditions.

To help drivers make it through the toughest winter conditions, AAA East Penn offers the following tips:

€¢ Check your vehicle's battery. A fully-charged battery is required for starting an engine in cold weather.

€¢ Have your vehicle's brakes checked thoroughly to prevent wheels from locking when the brakes are suddenly applied.

€¢ Check the air pressure of your vehicle's tires, which will normally drop one PSI for every 10 degree drop in the outside temperature. Under inflation can reduce traction and can damage tires.

€¢ Clear the snow and ice from your vehicle's roof, hood, trunk, lights and windows. Motorists in Pennsylvania are subject to severe fines if snow or ice falls from their vehicle and causes injury or death to other motorists or pedestrians.

€¢ Replace windshield wipers that streak the windshield, and consider using winter wiper blades that have rubber covers to prevent snow and ice buildup from impairing effectiveness. Fill the windshield washer reservoir with an antifreeze washer solvent.

€¢ Make sure the engine coolant in your vehicle provides adequate anti-freeze protection. A 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water provides protection to-30 degrees Fahrenheit (-34 degrees Celsius).

€¢ Keep your vehicle's gas tank at least half full at all times to minimize condensation that can lead to gas line freeze-up.

€¢ Carry a winter driving kit for use in the event of an emergency. The kit should include a small bag of abrasive material (such as sand or cat litter), a small snow shovel, a snow brush, traction mats, a flashlight with new batteries, window washing solvent, an ice scraper, a cloth or roll of paper towels, jumper cables, a blanket, warning devices (such as flares or triangles), a charged cell phone, drinking water, a pair of gloves and extra clothes.

AAA East Penn Region has more than 268,000 members throughout its service area, which takes in all of Lehigh County and parts of Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Montgomery and Northampton counties. For more information, visit www.aaa.com. The information provided was distributed by AAA East Penn.

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