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Frosty conditions and winter weather bring road safety concerns


Fall is in full swing in the Commonwealth and with it comes frosty temperatures. Officials said morning frost is not often thought of as a concern, but it can pose a risk.

Lori Weaver-Hawkins, Public Affairs Manager with AAA, said frost on car windows can be a hazard for drivers if it is not completely removed.

“Don’t just go out and scrape off a small hole for you to peek through as you're driving, that’s very unsafe. Make sure that you remove everything from the windshield, as well as that ice from the passenger’s side window, driver’s side window, and of course that back window,” said Weaver-Hawkins

Weaver-Hawkins said drivers should make sure they leave enough time in the morning to properly scrape windows. Otherwise, the AAA official said windows can be covered the night before a frost to prevent it from sticking.

Other tips for preparing vehicles for winter weather include checking tread and air pressure on tires, making sure batteries are no more than three years old, and putting together a winter emergency kit.

“I always remind people this time of year, make sure that you have your winter emergency kit. In fact, I tell people to keep a basic emergency kit in their vehicle all year long, but in the winter, you want to add some things to it,” said Weaver-Hawkins.

Weaver-Hawkins said winter kits should include tools to free a stuck vehicle from the snow and items to keep drivers and passengers safe. Officials suggested traction mats, a shovel, a flashlight with extra batteries, de-icer, jumper cables, extra warm clothing or blankets, drinking water, a first aid kit, and a basic tool kit. Weaver-Hawkins said that may sound like a long list, but many items can be found in smaller, more compact forms so they do not take up as much space when driving.

Weaver-Hawkins also cautions drivers to be safe, to watch the speed limit, and not take unnecessary risks, especially when roads might be slick.