As much as we would like them to, our responsibilities can’t always be put on hold when the roads are icy. While staying off the roads is the safest option, here are a few tips for driving in icy or snowy conditions.
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly
- Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best technique for gaining traction and avoiding skids. Remember, it takes longer to slow down on icy roads, so give yourself plenty of time to stop at intersections.
- Drive slowly
- Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
- The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
- Be sure your tires are properly inflated.
- Be mindful of hills
- Applying extra gas on slick roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top.
- Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road.
- As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill as slowly as possible.
- Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.
Pay attention to the weather forecast and be prepared. If you have to be out in icy or snowy conditions, be sure your phone is fully charged, you’re dressed warmly and have extra clothes or blankets in your vehicle.
Above all else, if you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you’re confident in your driving abilities, not everyone else is.
If you are one of the unlucky drivers to fall victim of icy roads check out our blog on the steps to take after an accident.