Driving in Icy Conditions

Driving in icy conditions requires patience, skill and a lot of caution. However, even when you have these characteristics, you still need to watch out and take care of where other drivers are right alongside you. Their driving behaviors make a difference because you can't predict what decisions other people will make, especially in dangerous environments like this. The amount of practice that you have might differ than someone else's--especially if you have been on the road for several years and they have just learned how to drive.

Normally, the main thing you want to remember about driving on ice is to stay from the brakes. Applying brakes will only make you slide along and cause you to lose your ability to steer. This can cause serious issues in case you need to stop suddenly and you need to understand what to do. If you are trying to stop, then just let off the gas. You'll be able to slow down and then steer where you need to go. This will also make it easier for your tires to grip the road as much as possible, especially if you have invested in tires that are made for these conditions.

Check Wipers and Defrost System

Of course, you want to make sure your windshield wipers are working properly and all the fluids are full before you leave to go anywhere. Then, you can combine that and the use of your defroster to make sure that you always have full visibility. In certain types of icy conditions, you'll find that it's helpful to use your air conditioner. This will combat the hot air that everyone is breathing inside the car and keep the windows from fogging up. Remember that preparation should include checking on the defroster and air conditioner to make sure everything is working properly.

Keep in mind that black ice doesn't show up very well but there are certain spots you can expect for it to be. Normally, this is in shady corners or places of the road that don't get a lot of sunshine. If you do happen to see something that looks like a dark puddle, this can be an extremely dangerous condition. It doesn't take much to slide on this type of ice either because it just needs a simple turn of the wheel to get moving. Normally, there are anti-lock brakes in all the newer models that will help with these conditions.

Importance of Head Lights

Make sure you keep your lights on so other drivers can easily see you. Blinding turns and bridges are dangerous and they can cause even good drivers to have accidents. If you do find yourself in a snow bluff after sliding off one of these corners, then don't sit there and let your tires spin. You're only going to bury them worse in the snow because you're not getting any traction. This is when you'll need a wench or a tow truck to come pull you out of the drift. Roadside assistance is going to be your best friend at this point.

Make sure any time you get ready to start driving in icy conditions that you inform yourself as much as possible first. Even if you don't have prior experience, everyone has to start somewhere. This is how you learn and hands-on experience is the best teacher you could ask for. You'll find that the more practice you get, the more you'll understand what you should be watching out for and what the best practices are.

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