Commuters should expect rain, snow, freezing rain and sleet to complicate the morning rush-hour commute Thursday, with a winter weather advisory in effect across the D.C. region from 4 a.m. through 1 p.m.
Up to 1 inch of sleet and snow may accumulate in some areas, creating icy, creating slippery conditions for motorists and pedestrians alike, according to the National Weather Service.
Areas north and west of Interstate 95 are the most likely to have accumulation, per the Capital Weather Gang.
AAA Mid-Atlantic is warning motorists to take extra care on roads and highways. In particular:
- Avoid braking and turning at the same time. Brake first, then turn, then accelerate. Accelerate and decelerate more slowly than you would on dry roads.
- Leave plenty of space between your car and the car ahead of you. Increase following distances to at least 6 seconds.
- Drive with your low-beam headlights on, even during daylight.
- Be predictable. Use turn signals, make sure lanes are clear before changing and leave plenty of time to stop.
- Avoid using cruise control, which can reduce traction.
- If you start to skid, don’t slam on the brakes. Continue to look and steer in the direction you want the car to go.
- Avoid puddles when it’s safe to do so.
- Always wear your seat belt.
- Stay alert and minimize distractions. Don’t text, talk on the phone or drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- In snow and ice, try not to stop when heading up a steep hill. After you’ve stopped, applying extra gas to get started again may only spin your wheels. Get some momentum going on a flat road as you approach the hill to help you reach the top, then reduce your speed and drive down the hill slowly.
- If your visibility is so limited you can’t see in front of you, carefully pull off to the side of the road and stop completely.