How to Drive on Ice

While the best solution for driving on ice is to avoid it all costs, that is not always possible. Whether you have no choice because you’re an emergency worker or because you have no choice to drive somewhere, education is important in terms of how to cope with these dangerous conditions. Experience is certainly the best teacher, but there are definitely some key auto safety measures to keep in mind before starting up your vehicle. In fact, talking to someone who is experienced driving on icy roads is a great idea in order to get some helpful dos and don’ts.

First of all, the obvious point is to make sure there is plenty of room between your vehicle and any other cars on the road. Tailgating is going to make a bad situation even worse if an accident occurs, and you have no room to react or recover before the point of collision. It’s a good idea to give yourself about three to five cars’ worth of space in order to maintain a safe driving distance at all times. Ice is not always visible, as is the case with black ice, and it can be found in the shady portions of the road and curves.

Another thing to remember is your speed. The ice is going to be very unforgiving if you apply your brakes in a hurry, and they are not going to react like you would normally expect. Keep your speed low so that you can avoid any more braking than just gentle pressure. The second you feel your wheels lock and start to slide, you need to let off the brakes to avoid any further skidding. Cruise control is not a good idea either since you will always want to have complete control of your speed and brakes without question.

Lights and windows need to be kept clean because the weather conditions that usually accompany slippery roads are going to be hard to see through. Wind, ice and rain do not make for great visibility when icy conditions are present, and it’s important for all sides of your vehicle to be clean and obstruction-free. With this in mind, don’t pass anyone or any other car that you don’t have a clear view in front of either. Snow plows and other work trucks are there to help with the road conditions and if you pass them, you may find the road to be in worse shape than the portion you’re driving on currently.

Remember that turning works a little in reverse in these conditions. If you are sliding left, you will want to turn your wheels to the left in order to stop or slow the slide. The same goes if you find your car skidding to the right. Turn the wheels to the right in order to slow the vehicle down since regular braking and steering techniques do not apply on icy roads. This may have to be done a few times in order to regain complete control of your car, but just keep it steady and gentle as you go along.

For your driveway, you can always sprinkle cat litter or rock salt on it to help with the ice. Sometimes getting out of your own driveway is the hardest part of the trip and these are known substances to help with some traction and ice. Gravel is also a good idea and if you can use these to help get going, it will give you a more stable start. Other than that, when driving on ice, just remember to be aware of other drivers and how close they get to your car.

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