AAA, Hamilton, NJ, March 20, 2018 – The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for New Jersey ahead of pair of storm systems that will consolidate into one major nor’easter later tonight and Wednesday. Winter Storm Toby will bring significant impacts to our region – starting with mixed precipitation today and tonight – sleet and freezing rain – then significant snowfall on Wednesday, dropping up to a foot of snow in some areas.
Travel will be substantially impacted by Wednesday, as visibility and road conditions deteriorate quickly. AAA urges motorists to prepare ahead of the storm for road travel and exercise caution when traveling during the storm.
“No one ever plans to get stuck in a storm, however the last three nor’easters left many motorists stuck for hours on snow covered highways due to poor driving conditions, vehicle crashes and road closures,” said Tracy E. Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Packing a vehicle emergency kit can be a life-saving storm preparation. In addition, AAA urges motorists to curb unnecessary travel during the storm to protect motorists and allow road crews and emergency vehicles to do their jobs quicker and without delays. If you have to travel in winter weather, leave plenty of extra time, buckle up, slow down, and keep a safe distance from the car in front of you.”
TUESDAY – Prepare your vehicle
- Fill the gas tank.
- Emergency kit items to include – deicer, shovel, ice scraper, sand or kitty litter (for traction)
- Pack a blanket, extra gloves and hat, heavy coat – if you’re stuck on the road for an extended period of time you’ll need to stay warm, especially if your vehicle is not running
- Pack snacks, beverages, etc. – have them packed by the door to take in the morning (so they don’t freeze in the car overnight)
- Charge your cell phone – have a backup power source for the car in case you’re stuck for a while
- Make sure your windshield wipers and lights (headlights, taillights, turn signals) are working properly – make sure you can see and can be seen
AAA is no exception to storm preparations, as the roadside assistance leader gears up to rescue motorists during and after this next storm.
“Our roadside assistance fleet is ready to rescue our members as quickly and safely as possible,” noted Noble. “This means all hands are on deck at AAA.”
TUESDAY NIGHT/WEDNESDAY – Winter Weather Driving Tips
- Remove all snow from your vehicle, including the roof, hood, and trunk. While driving, snow can blow off a car onto the windshield of a nearby vehicle, temporary blinding that driver’s vision. (PA law requires motorists to clean their cars off completely so snow and ice do not dislodge while driving).
- Don’t let your car idle – you should warm up your car no more than 30 seconds before you start driving, as the engine warms up faster from being driven. Never leave your car idling, unattended.
- Allow plenty of extra time to get where you need to go.
- Increase following distance between you and the cars around you.
- Stay at least six car lengths behind snow plows, salt trucks and road crews.
- Slow down and move over – if you see police, EMS or roadside assistance operators helping a motorist on the side of the road.