Tips For Driving on Icy Roads
Icy roads present unique driving challenges. Tyre grip is reduced, stopping distances double when snow or ice accumulates and steering requires more precise movements than usual.
Be sure to drive slowly, give other vehicles plenty of space between themselves, and use a light touch when applying brake and gas pedals or gas. Avoid sudden acceleration or braking when turning.
Icy roads can quickly turn a pleasant family drive into a hazardous and potentially life-threatening experience. Being prepared is key for ensuring a successful journey on icy surfaces; remembering that driving on ice requires much greater concentration than on dry road surfaces is critical.
First step to prepare your vehicle for winter weather should be having it professionally inspected by a mechanic and have sufficient traction. Check your tyre tread depth as well as considering investing in snow socks; high-grip fabric covers that fit over wheels that offer additional traction.
As soon as you begin driving on icy roads, it is crucial that your speed and driving style match the conditions. Slowing down will increase your chances of staying under control and avoiding skidding; leaving more distance between yourself and other cars in front can reduce collision risk significantly; cruise control increases risk due to spinning wheels at different speeds that increase chances of losing control.
Whenever your car loses traction, try to remain calm. Slamming on the brakes or overreacting will only serve to further upset its balance, making regaining control even harder. Instead, steer in the direction where its rear end is sliding – for instance if it drifts right shoulder then steer left shoulder.
Remember that stopping on icy roads takes much longer, so leave at least twice the distance between your car and any vehicles ahead. Also avoid passing snow plows and sand trucks; their large blades can create large patches of ice underneath them.
Keep an eye out for black ice as temperatures decrease during the day and be especially careful as its transparent properties make it dangerously easy to blend into road surfaces. Black ice formation is particularly common on shaded roadways, bridges, flyovers and tunnels.
Icy roads can be perilous and even small errors can cause accidents. Never accelerate suddenly or turn your wheel quickly in these conditions as doing so will cause your vehicle to lose grip and slip, possibly resulting in sliding. Also try keeping your speed low and driving slowly for optimal safety.
On icy roads, it is vital that you leave an extra margin between yourself and the vehicles in front of you. Icy conditions make stopping more challenging; getting too close may make braking too late to avoid an accident; this is particularly pertinent if following a truck or other large vehicle.
Many drivers believe that they need to “pumper” the brakes when driving on ice, which is not correct; your ABS will handle this process automatically and pumping the brakes could actually make matters worse by causing wheels to spin and slide instead of stopping properly.
When driving downhill on icy roads, light pressure should be applied to both gas and brake pedals in order to maintain an appropriate speed. You should also try to avoid driving on steep inclines as this makes maintaining traction more challenging for your vehicle.
Practice driving your car on icy roads to understand how it reacts under these conditions. Locate a large parking lot without cars parked there and practice acceleration, steering and braking exercises on an icy surface. Also practice in different weather conditions like rain and snow to understand how your vehicle responds in each instance – this will prepare you for all possible situations this winter and will also equip you to respond swiftly if an emergency situation arises – for instance if you encounter an accident on an icy road call 911 rather than trying to rescue their driver as this could cause other drivers to lose control and lead them down paths leading to additional accidents!
Don’t Go Too Fast
Icy roads can be hazardous, making it easy for your vehicle to slide out of control and into trouble. Even with knowledge of winter driving techniques and all-season or snow tires on your car, the conditions on ice could still present risks that you need to consider when driving on them.
As soon as driving on ice or snow becomes an option, drivers should adjust their speeds down accordingly to take account for decreased traction. This will give more control and time for reacting to other drivers on the road; anything taken on slippery roads takes longer, such as stopping and turning.
When faced with an impending slip-up, the key is remaining calm. Don’t slam on the brakes; this will only lead to further sliding of your car and loss of control. Instead, slowly release accelerator while maintaining steady pressure on either antilock or standard brakes for best results.
As you approach hills, it may also be necessary to reduce speed. Since hills tend to be more treacherous than their surroundings, it’s best to approach them slowly and gradually so your tires have time to gain traction and prevent you from sliding downhill.
Whenever your car begins swerves beyond control and it seems impossible for you to gain back the reins, pull over safely as soon as it is safe for doing so. Not only will this alleviate some stress but it will allow other vehicles to pass by without colliding into you.
If you find yourself unable to drive your vehicle safely, turn on the hazard lights and call for assistance. In certain circumstances, other drivers might need to hit their brakes or make sudden turns; therefore, in this situation it would be safer if you could stay out of traffic as much as possible until it is safe for them to pass you and pull away safely off of the road and out of oncoming traffic’s path. It would also be prudent for you to have an extra full tank of gas, plenty of food and water, blanket and charged phone should your vehicle become stuck or lost on its journey homewards.
Don’t Turn Too Soon
When it comes to accelerating, turning, and shifting gears it is crucial that a gradual pressure is applied at all times. A sudden, abrupt motion could easily cause your wheels to lose traction and begin skidding, especially on slippery roads such as ice. Steering can also become very tricky in these circumstances so quick movements should be avoided whenever possible.
Be prepared for a long drive on icy roads and anticipate taking extra time when travelling at high speed. If time is of the essence, consider postponing or driving during daylight hours when temperatures are warmer and less black ice is likely present.
Increase your following distance and allow for at least 10 times the stopping distance you are used to on dry pavement. When passing a vehicle, be careful and use the shoulder, where there may be more traction rather than in the main lane.
If your vehicle begins to slip, don’t panic! If you can see where its rear end is sliding, steer in that direction – for instance if your car starts drifting right, steer gently left until it recovers. If keeping straight is impossible, allow your wheels to drift over rough patches created by other cars so they gain more traction before steering back onto the main lane.
Steep inclines can be difficult to traverse when covered in ice and snow, so be particularly wary when approaching hills at night or early morning hours.
Before heading out in cold weather, always ensure your vehicle is well-maintained and equipped to face it. A full tune up, including checking coolant level, is strongly advised. Winter tires offer additional safety and control over your ride – make sure yours are prepared.
Staying calm, slowing down, and thinking ahead are the three keys to driving safely on icy roads. Even experienced drivers can lose traction or cause accidents if they become overconfident on treacherous roadways; four-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles also have limited control when the surface becomes slippery.