From four-wheel drive to using beet juice to treat icy surfaces, AAA Oklahoma is tackling some winter weather myths.

“When it gets just completely covered in ice, the only thing you’re going to do with four-wheel drive is slide all four tires,” said Jason Cravens, fleet manager for AAA Oklahoma.

As for that beet juice, Oklahoma City launched a pilot program this year to treat city roads with beet juice, a method already used in cities such as Washington, D.C. and Cincinnati.

The city bought 2,000 gallons of beet juice, saying a percentage of beet juice mixed into salt or brine mixtures brings the operational temperature down to minus 10 or 20 degrees.

“I have no scientific data to say whether it’s good or bad. I know it’s something that they’re trying. It may be a good deal but I know there’s a hundred different de-icers out there,” Cravens said.

Cravens said if you plan on just a quick errand during wintry weather, don’t be deceived. He said it could take a lot longer than planned.

“People are leaving the house in shorts and a T-shirt because they’re just planning on a very quick trip where they’re not trying to get out of the car,” he said.

Cravens said you never know when you will get stuck though, so pack extra clothes or a blanket to stay warm, as well as some water and snacks to keep in the car.

“Nobody plans on sliding into a ditch and waiting there for an hour and waiting on somebody to come pick them up,” he said.

Cravens said it is important to know what to do if you hit a slick spot.

“Pumping the brakes isn’t necessarily the right deal. It’s not a bad idea, but it’s not necessarily the right deal. What you want to avoid is slamming on the brakes. It’s important to brake gently. It’s important to slow gradually,” he said.

He said that seeing clearly through the windshield is also important.

“If your windshield is covered up with frost, ice or anything, a lot of people will drive around with a little hole in their windshield about that big so they can see out. The problem with that is you can’t see something that isn’t directly in front of you. And a lot of times, something bad is coming from a direction other than directly in front of you,” Cavens explains.

The last one, is something you’ve likely heard before but still as important as ever: be mindful when driving near roadside assistance crews.

“Slow down, give the people working on the side of the road some room to get their job done quickly efficiently and safely,” he said.





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