As the winter months continue to bring chilly weather to nearly every part of the country, it is important to understand winter road safety. Though many aspects of road safety can suffer during cold weather, icy road conditions contribute to the bulk of them.
Thus, it is most important to understand how to drive safely on ice. This can make the difference between a crash or a safe disengagement.
Having the right equipment
Men’s Journal discusses some of the ways drivers can stay safe when hitting frozen roads. Of course, the best thing to do is avoid going out on icy roads whenever possible. At the very least, try to wait until city vehicles go through to plow the roads or lay down salt and/or sand for help with traction.
The next best thing: have the right tires. If necessary, chains can help provide additional traction, and manufacturers have specific tires available for those who live in snowy and icy areas which also help with traction. Additional weight in the car may provide more traction, too. Those with small cars could load up bags of litter, sand, pet food and other heavy items in the trunk, providing more weight and drag.
What to do on the ice
If a driver does get stuck in an icy patch, they can make several moves to avoid sliding, losing control and crashing. For example, a driver should always look at their goal destination. The car will naturally follow guidance to wherever the driver looks.
Know whether a car has anti-lock brakes or not, too. A driver should completely remove their foot from the brakes when sliding in a car with anti-lock brakes. On the other hand, a driver with ABS should keep their foot on the brake and steer as they go. Keeping these things in mind can help avoid serious collisions.