ATLANTA — State and local departments of transportation are urging drivers around the Atlanta area and across Northeast Georgia to stay off the roads as much as possible this weekend.
For those who need to run a quick errand still, have to go to work or an emergency happens, here are the best times to be on the road.
Forecasting from the 11Alive StormTrackers as of Friday evening showed drivers should be fine to be on the roads until 10 p.m. Saturday in Northeast Georgia and around midnight in metro Atlanta.
By those times is when temperatures are expected to be dropping as widespread rain takes over moving in from the west and possible snow and wintry mix begins falling in Northeast Georgia.
From Sunday morning until noon in metro Atlanta there could be some sleet or freezing rain. If drivers must be out on the roads be very cautious. This would be a good time to start staying home for the weekend.
In Northeast Georgia, after several hours of snow or a wintry mix, it would be best to keep cars in the driveway and stay off the streets.
By 2 p.m. Sunday northeast of Atlanta travel is expected to be difficult and in the metro roads could be slick and slushy, meaning in both places it's best to stay safe at home.
Moving into Sunday evening, from 6 p.m. through the overnight hours the concern will be several inches of snow that is expected to have piled up and ice in Northeast Georgia. In metro Atlanta, anything that fell during the day will be re-freezing creating ice roads. Again in both places, stay home.
For those who have to be on the roads this weekend, AAA has four basic but important winter driving tips to remember.
1. Slow down and increase the following distance between you and the car ahead of you.
2. Drive in a plowed lane when possible and avoid unnecessary lane changes.
3. IF you slide on ice, gently press the brakes - don't pump your brakes, while gently steering in the direction you want to go.
4. In an emergency on the roadside, turn on your hazard lights while staying in your car with your seatbelt on until help arrives.
While it is important to know how to drive in winter weather for drivers on the road, AAA also recommends winterizing your vehicle. That involves checking a car's battery, tire tread and pressure, windshield wipers, and fluid levels.
Have a full tank of gas and a car phone charger.
Also consider packing a snow shovel, ice scraper, jumper cables, flares, flashlight, medicines, snacks, and warm clothing and blankets.
For traction to avoid spinning tires if you become stuck pack a bag of sand, cat litter, or mats. If you are stuck on snow or ice, place any of the above under your tires for traction.