How to drive in ice and snow

Ice on a roadway is not like ice in a glass of water. You don’t necessarily see it. If it’s a sunny day you can have glare on the road that makes the roadway look wet when there is actually ice on the road and it can catch you by surprise. If you have to drive on ice, slow down to a crawl.

When it’s freezing or near freezing be extra careful on bridges, overpasses, and streets shaded by trees or buildings. These areas tend to freeze before the rest of the roadway and they’re the last to thaw out. If it’s icy and you approach a curve, slow down before you get to the curve. If you suddenly slow down or speed up while turning, you will go into a skid. Like ice snow can be deceptive too, once it starts to pack down and then you have temperature changes where it melts some, freezes, melts some, and freezes. You end up with that icy condition again. Yes you can see it but it can still be very deceptive in terms of how slick it can actually be. Again, it is essential to slow down. If you’re driving in packed snow cut your speed to half of what you would normally drive. To increase traction use snow tires or tire chains placed over the tires.

Whether you’re driving in snow or rain the American Automobile Association gives seven tips for safer driving. One, prepare in advance. Clean your windows and lights. Check the tread and pressure of your tires. Check your windshield wipers, lights and other equipment to make sure they are in good working order. Two, be extra careful. Drive slower and allow extra space between your car and others. Three, Drive in the tracks of the vehicle in front of you. Since those tracks are drier than the surrounding pavement they provide better traction. Four, give plenty of advanced notice to other drivers. If you plan to stop or slow down let other drivers know early enough so that they have time to react safely. Five, be alert. Watch for pedestrians trying to get out of the weather. Six, keep your low beam headlights on. This help you to see better and help others to see you. Seven, ease your way into turns or curbs avoiding any sudden starts and stops.


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