Experts remind drivers to be prepared during winter weather

JACKSON, Tenn. — Sleet, snow, and ice can be both frightening and dangerous to West Tennesseans taking to the roadways.

“Even if you’ve got a four wheel drive, on ice, all of it, once you put the brake on, becomes a sled,” said Marty Clements, EMA Director of Jackson Madison County.

This is why experts remind drivers of several tips that can help keep them confident and safe when bracing the storm, and preparation starts before even leaving the driveway.

“Scrape all the way around. All those windows in your car are there for a reason. They’re for people to see in and you to see out,” Clements said.

Clements also says hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Let someone know when you leave and where you’re going and keep certain items in your car in case of emergency.

“Pair of boots, gloves, a coat, blanket, flashlight; all of those things with you, even if you’re just going to be a short time,” Clements said.

He says make sure your car is winter ready. Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze up.

“If you have a pick up truck, add some extra weight to the back end of it, so that it doesn’t, as you go around a curve, slide out away from you,” said the EMA Director.

Experts say, if you do run into an area that looks like it may be iced over, don’t panic.

“Take your foot off. Don’t just immediately slam on the brake. Take your foot off. Slow your car down a little bit and let it go across there without trying to do a lot of steering or braking,” Clements said.

They also say, be extra cautious around bridges and construction areas, make sure your lights are on, and always wear your seat belt.