Reduce Winter Accidents by Following These Safe Driving Guidelines
Unfortunately, winter is here to stay for the next few months. And, unless you can avoid the roads until spring comes, you will likely find yourself driving in icy road conditions. Find our top 5 tips for driving on icy roads below.
5 Tips for Driving on Icy Roads
The best way to avoid an accident on icy roads is to stay home. We realize that sometimes leaving home can’t be avoided. But, if at all possible plan your errands and winter travel around the weather. If you do have to venture out on icy roads, try and wait until after the plows have gone through and put salt down as this can really help you maintain traction between your tires and the road.
Reduce Your Speed
Going too fast for the road conditions is the largest cause of winter accidents. You should be going substantially slower on snowy and icy roads than you would otherwise drive on dry roads. You should also be increasing your following distance from the car in front of you so if slips or sharp stops happen you have plenty of time to respond.
Change Speeds Slowly
Forget that lead foot. The name of the game in winter driving is changing speeds slowly. Pushing too hard on the accelerator after a stop could cause your wheels to spin and slamming on the brakes too fast could cause a slide. You will need to start braking a lot further in advance than normal so you have plenty of time to come to a controlled stop.
Watch the Temps
Keep in mind that the temperature outside plays a large part in road conditions. If the temperature is waffling around 32-degrees, that wet road could become icy very quickly, especially on overpasses and bridges that freeze quicker than the normal roads. If the temperature is well below 32-degrees you can assume moisture on the roads has turned to ice.
Practice Practice Practice
It is really hard to learn how to appropriately respond to slippery conditions from behind a computer screen. We suggest taking your vehicle to a well-lit open area (like an empty parking lot) during slippery conditions so you can practice what to do when your car slips in a controlled and safe environment. Don’t drive any faster than you would in a full parking lot or it may become unsafe. Bring along someone who has a lot of experience driving in severe weather to help guide you and refrain from doing unsafe maneuvers at high speeds.