Winter Weather Calls for Driver Preparation
Snow and cold weather make driving conditions more difficult for motorists, especially during storms when icy conditions prevail. AAA Nebraska advises motorists to prepare themselves and their vehicles for dangerous road conditions.
“Motorists should allow extra time to get to their destination,” advises Rose White, public affairs director for AAA Nebraska. “Since speed is a factor in many crashes, never be in a hurry when road conditions are slick. Monitor weather conditions and follow the advice from authorities. If it is not safe to travel and you don’t need to venture out, don’t drive. Wait until road conditions improve.”
The Nebraska Department of Roads’ 511 Advanced Traveler Information System provides the public with information that will assist commuters and travelers along Nebraska’s highway system. There are three ways to access their 24-hour-a-day, year-round Nebraska road condition and traveler information—by phone, website, and mobile app.
The 511 phone system does not provide weather forecasts. It will provide current road condition information. To access 511 via a cell phone or landline dial 511. If outside of Nebraska, dial 800-906-9069.
The 511 website can be accessed on the Nebraska Department of Roads home page www.roads.nebraska.gov or www.511.nebraska.gov. The 511 website provides a wealth of information including road conditions, camera views of selected roadways, current weather information, and colored coded roadways to show speeds to indicate a slowdown in real-time.
Nebraska 511 has an app that works on smartphones and tablets operating on the Apple and Android platforms. Visit the App Store or Google Play and search for Nebraska 511.
AAA recommends that motorists keep emergency supplies in their vehicle, including a cell phone, boots, gloves, blankets, a coffee can filled with candles and matches, flashlight and reflective triangle.
“If you become stranded on a highway, it is best to stay with the vehicle. If you can start your engine, run it for a few minutes at a time, just long enough to keep warm. Always clear snow away from the exhaust pipe area before you start the engine. A snow blocked exhaust pipe could cause deadly carbon monoxide gases to enter the passenger compartment,” warns White.
“If you see a stranded motorist and you are unable to render aid, dial *55 on your cell phone and provide the dispatcher with a description of the vehicle, number of passengers, if known, and details about the vehicle’s location, such as the nearest mile marker number or landmark,” she added.
AAA recommends the following tips for winter driving:
Motorists can help keep their vehicles on the road by doing the following:
Emergency Road Kit
Each vehicle in your family should be equipped with a winter emergency road kit that contains the following:
• Plastic container of abrasive material such as sand or salt. (Use an empty plastic ice cream bucket or gallon jug to store your sand.)
• Small snow shovel and ice scraper
• Flashlight with extra batteries
• Winter grade windshield washer solvent
• Empty coffee can filled with candles and matches (mini-furnace)
• Mobile phone, pre-programmed with rescue apps and important phone numbers including family members and emergency services
• First-aid kit
• Non-perishable snacks
• Blankets, thermal sleeping bag, boots, heavy socks, gloves, hat, and scarves to prevent frostbite and hypothermia
• Jumper cable with safety goggles
• Warning devices (flares or triangles)
• Basic toolkit (screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench)
• Large plastic trash bags, newspapers, floor mats (use as insulation between layers of clothing)
• Red scarf or flag, or folding windshield sun visor that indicates Call Police
Phone Applications Available From AAA
Android and iPhone users can download AAA Mobile, AAA’s mobile smartphone app that provides AAA services for all motorists, such as mapping and gas price comparisons, as well as member-exclusive benefits including roadside assistance. AAA Membership is not required to download and use AAA apps, but is necessary to take advantage of unique member benefits such as roadside assistance. For more information on AAA Mobile, visit AAA.com/Mobile.
About The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, travel, insurance and financial services offerings to approximately 9 million members across 11 states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with nearly 55 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety.
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