Driving in the winter poses many different dangers from driving in the snow to driving on ice. While they may seem like they go hand in hand, driving on ice is much more dangerous and poses more risks than driving in the snow. Today, we are going to look at 5 things you can do to drive safer in icy road conditions to keep you and others on the road safe.
One of the most popular tips for driving in ice road conditions is to take your time. If you are needing to be somewhere at a certain time, leave a little earlier to ensure that you will have enough time to drive slower and still arrive at your destination on time. Driving slower not only ensures you reduce the chances of skidding, in the event you do lose control, it will be easier to regain control if you are traveling at a lower rate of speed.
The brakes on your car can be your best and worst friend in icy road conditions. The key here is to know how to use them to control your vehicle when driving on ice. When approaching icy roads, you will want to avoid using your brakes if at all possible. Using your brakes can cause your wheels to lock up and lose traction, sending you into a skid. Traveling at a low rate of speed should allow you to use the weight of the vehicle and the friction from the traction you do have to slow the vehicle down naturally.
If you find yourself in a skid, it is important to know how to get your way out of one to avoid damage. Skidding is caused by your vehicle losing traction and your tires sliding across the ice. If you feel your vehicle skidding, avoid over-steering (turning your steering wheel too quickly in the opposite direction) as this can cause you to lose complete control of your vehicle. Instead, slowly steer into the skid and pump your brakes to allow your car to regain traction and slowly turn your steering wheel back into the direction you need to continue driving.
By keeping an eye on changing temperatures, you will have a better grasp on when and where to expect icy road conditions. Roads usually don’t start icing over until the temperature has been below freezing for sometime due to the natural heat from the ground. However, bridges and overpasses may start to freeze as soon as temperatures reach below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. If your vehicle has a temperature display, this is a great tool to use to determine when you may experience freezing road conditions.
One of the most common vehicle upgrades found in areas that experience snow and icy conditions are snow tires. Snow tires and chains make for a great way to keep traction through thick snow as it helps to cut through the compacted snow and allow for more traction. These additions certainly won’t hurt in these situations, but they will not provide any more value than most tires due to the way icy roads work.