Remember Basics Of Winter Driving This Weekend, Plan Ahead

By  | 

TOPEKA, Kansas (WIBW) -- The message is the same each time - when winter weather is on its way, slow down.

While an emergency may not happen if you venture out onto potentially dangerous roads, officials say it's important to plan for the worst.

Officials are urging people to stay home this weekend to avoid the snow, it'll be a time when a lot of people are out on the roads for holiday travel.

The roads were okay Friday afternoon, but with freezing drizzle and three to six inches of snow probably moving into Northeast Kansas over the weekend, that could change.

The best advice from officials?

Stay home.

"When they hear snow, four inches, we tend to see more drivers automatically stay home," Kansas Department of Transportation Spokesperson Kim Qualls said. "When they think there's just a chance of ice, they don't anticipate that, they see wet pavement and they continue to drive too fast for conditions."

However, many aren't going to stay home this weekend because of holiday travel.

13 Meteorologist Jeremy Goodwin forecasts a quarter inch of ice glaze on the streets and sidewalks especially southeast of I-35, then snow.

"If you can travel Friday night or Saturday morning try to get it done early."

Emergencies can happen, but to make your life a whole lot easier, everything you need should be right in the back of your trunk. Keep an emergency kit with an ice scraper, shovel, blankets, a first-aid kit, water and dry food. Cat litter or sand wouldn't hurt either. All of those things can easily be gathered in your own house.

"We always think nothing's going to happen to us, but you get out on the road and you just don't know what the elements are going to be like," Executive Vice President for AAA of Kansas Jim Hanni said. "If you are in an accident and waiting for someone to come get you, having those things in the car is a really good idea."

Hanni said he anticipates AAA responding to about 2,500 calls over the holiday season, which runs December 21 to the first of the year.

"Most of them are going to be wrenching people out of a ditch. That happens more than we plan on."

If out driving in winter weather, AAA also says to increase the space between you and other people by about 8 to 10 car lengths.