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Motorists urged to stay safe

Weather in Hampton Roads is expected to get even chillier very soon, and motorists anxiously traveling for New Year’s Eve should prepare themselves and their vehicles for frosty conditions.

The National Weather Service is projecting low temperatures in the 10- to 15-degrees Fahrenheit range around the New Year, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Montefusco. There’s also the potential for rain and snow later next week.

“Anybody with outdoor activities in mind should bear in mind that it will be quite cold New Year’s Eve,” Montefusco said.

This cold snap could dramatically affect vehicles, but motorists can prepare for these harsh temperatures by taking steps ahead of time, according to a press release from AAA Tidewater.

Car batteries should be checked to ensure they’re strong enough for the cold, and engine drivability concerns should be addressed ahead of time.

“Symptoms like hard starts, rough idling, stalling or diminished power could signal a problem that would be exacerbated by cold weather,” according to the press release.

Make sure all vehicle fluids are at safe levels. Replace worn windshield-wiper blades and burned-out bulbs, as visibility is crucial anytime of the day.

Tires should be examined for tread depth, uneven wearing and cupping. Tire pressure should be checked at least once a month, especially before driving long distances.

Emergency kits for motorists to keep in their vehicles should include maintenance essentials like tool kits, jumper cables, window-washer solvents and an ice scraper. Basic needs such as drinking water, non-perishable snacks and first-aid kits are also good to pack just in case.