Safety Tips for Traveling on Icy Roads

| August 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

If you’re driving somewhere for the winter holidays this year, or if you live in an area that gets snow, there are certain precautions to be taken if you have to drive on icy roads, regardless of whether you are an expert and accomplished driver. It’s especially important to be careful if you are traveling in areas where you’re not familiar with the roads.

Driving on Icy Roads

Driving on snowy and/or icy roads is only possible when you are in control of your vehicle. But even then, all it takes is just one simple misstep to lose control.

When planning to drive on snow-covered streets, it is important to:

Use All-Weather Tires and Chains

Change your regular tires to snow tires or all-weather tires and/or utilize chains on the tires as an extra safety measure. Also be sure the tires are properly inflated.

Even though the wheels of your vehicle may have special tread patterns engraved on them to allow the tire to keep a firm grip on asphalt roads, this is not the case during a winter storm where the underlying ice makes for hazardous driving conditions.

The car, instead of gripping the surface of the snow-covered ice and screeching to a halt, will skid. The slippery surface of the ice-covered street does not allow for friction which causes the car to stop.

Tire Tracks on Snowy Road

Drive Slowly

Drive the car slowly. Maintain an appropriate distance from the car in front of you so that if you do skid, you will have enough room to be able to stop the car before hitting the one in front of you.

Wear a Seat Belt

Make sure that everyone in the car is strapped in before you take off. Children should be strapped into their safety seats in the back seat. Of course, this is important even if there is no snow on the road.

Keep Your Windows Clear

If snow is falling when you are driving, it can restrict your view. This is why it is so important that you change the windshield wipers frequently. Use the heating system in the car on defrost, but you may still need to keep a window open slightly to prevent the windows from fogging up inside.

Signal Early

Use extra caution when you are changing lanes or making turns. Signal well in advance of the turn so that the car behind you has adequate time to adjust their speed.

Snowy Roads

Using the Brakes

If your brakes give out, pump them. However, do not attempt to pump the brakes if your car is equipped with anti-lock brakes.

If You Start to Skid

First, try to remain calm. If you are skidding in a rear-wheel or all-wheel drive car, turn the front wheels towards the direction you are skidding; not against it. If you are in a front-wheel drive car, straighten your steering wheel.

Find a Different Route

If the roads are particularly icy, take a different route, if possible. Avoid hilly streets. You may be able to “make the hill”, but other drivers  may not be able to, and may be sliding around and cluttering the road, making your progress difficult or dangerous.

Use these precautions to stay safe when traveling on ice and snow, and have a good trip!

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