Now that many places are well into their winter weather and there have been blasts of frigid air covering various areas around the northern hemisphere, it’s wise to remind yourself how to stay safe on the roads when winter driving conditions aren’t great.
While it’s smart to know how to drive in the snow, it can also be helpful to know how to drive when roads are icy, especially if you live in an area where snow can be moved off of the road but ice can remain for a while. So to help you with this, here are three tips for safely driving on icy roads.
Know Where To Expect Icy Roads
If it’s actively snowing or raining when the temperatures are low, ice can start to form anywhere on the roads. When this happens, most people know to slow down and steer clear of other cars on the road to avoid 18-wheeler accidents and the like. But when the roads appear to be clear of snow, they can still be icy. Because of this, it’s good to know where to expect ice on the roads.
In general, ice is going to stay on parts of the road that stay cooler and don’t get as much sun. As a result, you can usually find that parts of the road that are in the shade or that aren’t well insulated will remain icy long after other parts of the road are clear. So if you’re driving in an area that doesn’t get much sunshine on it or on a bridge or overpass, you should be extra careful to look out for ice.
Take Care Not To Overcorrect
If and when you do wind up hitting some ice on the road, knowing how to react can help keep you on the road and save you from getting into a bad car accident.
While your instinct might be to jerk the wheel toward the place where you want to be going, making big movements with the steering wheel can cause you to overcorrect, which can result in you losing even more control. To avoid this, try to keep the wheel still until your tires get traction. If you can steer straight and away from oncoming traffic, that’s the best option. And if you have a newer car, there might be added features that you can take advantage of to help you stay safe when the roads aren’t ideal.
Be Soft On Your Brakes And Gas Pedal
When you’re driving in conditions that could be icy, it’s best to be gentle when using both the gas pedal and the brakes of your car. If you brake too quickly, you could lose control and slide. And if you punch the gas, you could spin out. So as much as possible, try to take it easy and let your momentum do a lot of the work for you when stopping and starting.
If you’re worried about staying safe when driving on icy roads, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you maintain control as best you can.