AAA offers winter safety tips for drivers

JACKSON, Tenn. — It’s time to pack the car and head to grandma’s for the holidays. But before you even get in the vehicle, there’s an acronym you need to remember — BTW. It usually stands for “by the way,” but when it comes to your car, it stands for Battery, Tires, Windshield.

“You want to make sure you get your battery and electrical system tested,” said Stephanie Milani, public affairs director for AAA in Tennessee.

Officials say you specifically need to have it checked if it’s three years old or older.

For your tires, you’ll want to check the tread and pressure.

“You want to make sure you have good windshield wipers and you have enough windshield wiper fluid,” Milani said.

Then once you’re in the car, there’s a list of do’s and don’ts to remember as you hit the road.

First, the don’ts.

“Don’t tailgate.” Milani said. “Wet pavement can increase the distance it takes your vehicle to stop.”

Also don’t use cruise control on wet pavement or slam on the brakes. “If your car starts to skid, you want to continue to steer in the direction you want your car to go,” Milani said.

Then there’s the list of things to make sure you have in the car.

“A small shovel, a flashlight, an ice scraper, some booster cables, and then also some flares or reflective triangles,” Milani said.

Also a hat, gloves, a scarf and a bag of sand or kitty litter.

And if you do end up stranded on the side of the road, officials say to stay with your car and don’t get out and flag down other drivers for help. They say to wait for the tow truck to find you.

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