Icy roads pose a different type of challenge than every day driving conditions. Often times people cannot see ice before driving on it, and when combined with improper preparation this can lead to an accident. It has been reported that car accidents increase about 30% during the winter months. For these reasons, we have prepared a few tips to help you be safer when driving on icy roads.
You cannot prepare for icy weather if you do not know when it is coming. Stay up to date with the forecast and road closures in your area. Check to see if there are any accidents or dangerous conditions on the path that you will be driving.
When driving in slippery conditions, be aware of the location that you are traveling so that you do not have to make sudden stops of turns; smooth is safe. Keep your headlights on so that you can properly see the road ahead of you and any obstacles that may be in your path.
Prepare Your Vehicle
As the winter months approach, you should begin preparing your car. This includes replacing your summer tires with winter tires, or at least all-season tires. Winter tires will allow for your tires to have the best possible traction under slippery purposes. Following your tire replacement, begin placing necessary snow removal tools in your vehicle. These tools should include an ice scraper so that you can remove snow and ice from your windows, if your vehicle has been sitting for a period of time.
It is very important that you pay attention to the road when driving under slippery conditions. Avoid distractions such as cell phones, people, and music when driving. You should give extra space to the vehicles around you as well. This extra space will allow for everyone to have adequate room for braking and an escape route if an accident should occur.
Speed also plays a large role in safety when driving on ice. Be cautious of your speed and avoid excessive speeds. Driving at a moderate speed will not only give you time to react appropriately but will allow you to have better control in the event that your vehicle loses traction.
In the event that you find your vehicle losing control, remain calm. Panicking in this type of situation will result in you possibly making a fatal error. If possible, apply your brakes smoothly and attempt to come to a stop; do not pump your brakes as this will unsettle your car’s suspension. If your foot is still on the accelerator when you are losing control, slowly remove your foot off of the accelerator and steer in the direction that you would like for the car to go.
If possible, it is always best to avoid traveling when weather conditions are poor. If you cannot avoid the roads during icy conditions, these tips will help you be safe and avoid any accidents during your journey. With careful planning, alertness, and a cautious approach you should be able to make it from point A to point B safely.