Posted on: Nov. 10, 2017 in Driving

Icy roads are a problem in many locations throughout the country. Even areas where the daytime temperature is relatively high, overnight lows can create hazardous travel conditions. When the roads are icy, it becomes very difficult to maneuver and the risk of collisions increases dramatically.


Stay Home

If at all possible, avoid driving on icy roads. You obviously can’t get in an accident if you’re sitting at home. Also, staying off the roads when you don’t need to be out makes travel safer for those who do need to be out, including emergency personnel. If you do venture out, you must use extra caution.

Slow Down

Whenever the weather is bad, the best thing you can do is to slow down. Speeding in the best of conditions increases the likelihood of an accident, but it becomes even more dangerous when roads are slick. You’ll need more time to stop and, if you hit a patch of ice while braking, you’re at increased risk for fishtailing or sliding. If you do feel your car start to slip, slow down even more.

Brake Carefully

Sometimes you can’t avoid sliding when there’s ice on the road. Your reaction is one thing you can control and it’s important you stay calm. Do not slam on the brakes. Apply the brakes slowly to avoid sliding or spinning out. Bear in mind that you’ll not be able to steer the car while sliding, as the car will just keep going until the wheels regain traction.

Correct Your Slide

If you feel your car sliding, allow the car to slow as best as possible by taking your foot off the accelerator without slamming your brakes. Notice the direction the back end of the car is headed, and turn your steering wheel in that direction. Be careful not to overcorrect by frantically attempting to steer out of the slide.

Avoid Distractions

When driving on icy roads, do not lose focus. Keep the radio down and ask passengers to lower their voices. Grip the wheel firmly in the “10 and 2” position so you’ll have better control and better reaction time. You shouldn’t be using your phone while you drive anyway, but you should place it out of sight and reach so as not to be distracted by it. Even one second with your eyes off the road in bad weather can increase your risk for an accident. Also remember to always wear your seatbelt, too.

Once the weather turns cold, ice can form, so it’s best to keep your guard up and practice safe, defensive driving.

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