Drivers urged to prepare for winter weather ahead of snow

Snow Ice Roads Winter Weather Generic
(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – State officials and emergency crews from both Tennessee and Kentucky are hoping drivers properly prepare for Friday’s wintry weather.

A Winter Storm Watch was already issued for at least 12 counties in our region. Check the latest weather advisories at wkrn.com/alerts.

Officials with the Tennessee Department of Transpiration told News 2 salt will be in use should roads freeze over. However, because the weather event on Friday begins with rain, the roads will not be brined beforehand.

MORE: Based on current forecast, TDOT crews won’t brine roads early

TDOT is urging drivers are urged to plan ahead, and so is AAA. In addition to warm clothes and food, AAA says drivers should make sure their car is equipped with:

  • Jumper cables
  • Abrasive materials, such as kitty litter or sand;
  • Flashlight, a warning triangle, and hazard flares.
  • Ice scraper
  • Washer fluid

Drivers should also confirm their tires are of good quality and properly inflated to handle the icy blast.

Kentucky State Police also warned drivers of potentially hazardous conditions on Friday as winter weather brings slick roadways, reduced visibility, and freezing temperatures.

MORE: Winter Storm Watch issued ahead expected Friday snow in Middle Tennessee, Kentucky

First and foremost, KSP reminds drivers to make sure everyone inside their car is properly restrained. Drive defensively and ensure your vehicle is properly maintained to handle the effects of cold temperatures.

Other safe winter travel tips include:

  • Check road and weather conditions before you leave
  • Reduce speed in wintery conditions
  • Leave early, allow more travel time, and expect delays
  • Increase distance between vehicles – the ability to stop is significantly affected on snow covered or icy roadways
  • Clear all windows on your vehicle prior to travel – having unobstructed vision is vital to avoid running off of the road or having a collision
  • Ensure your windshield washer fluid is full and that you use an anti-ice solution
  • Turn on your vehicle’s headlights
  • Use caution on bridges and overpasses as they are susceptible to freezing before roadways
  • Avoid using cruise control – it can cause your vehicle’s wheel to continue turning on a slippery surface
  • Ensure your vehicle has a full tank of gas in the event you are stranded for an extended period of time
  • Dress warmly and keep a blanket in the vehicle

If you get stranded, staying in your vehicle is often the safest choice. Follow these tips:

  • Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna as a signal to rescuers
  • Move anything you need from the trunk into the passenger area
  • Wrap your entire body, including your head, in blankets, or extra clothing
  • Stay awake, you will be less vulnerable to cold-related health problems
  • Run the motor (and heater) for about 10 minutes per hour, opening one window slightly to let air in. Make sure snow is not blocking the exhaust pipe as this will reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning
  • As you sit, keep moving your arms and legs to improve your circulation and stay warmer
  • Do not eat un-melted snow, it will lower your body temperature

For those in Kentucky, KSP is also asking travelers to observe for stranded motorists. If you see or suspect that someone is stranded, contact KSP at 1-800-222-5555.

Download the free News 2 StormTracker App from WKRN and Nashville’s News 2 and be prepared when severe weather strikes.

Don’t forget to snap photos and submit those through the WKRN apps as well. Just give us a little information about where and when the photo was taken. You can also send your pictures to pix@wkrn.com.