Navigating the Chill: Top 6 Safety Tips for Driving on Icy Roads
Driving on Icy Roads? Read These Winter Driving Tips First:
Driving on the road in severe weather conditions can be very dangerous. Winter storms alone contribute to nearly half a million road accidents and over 2,000 deaths each year. While there are certain safety precautions to take and vehicles have the technology to provide safety in the event of a crash, serious injuries can still occur. That is where a car accident lawyer at Wettermark Keith can help.
Although it is best that you do not drive in severe weather road conditions, there are some specific safety precautions to follow in the event that you do. Wettermark Keith has created a list of 6 winter driving tips for driving on icy roads.
#1 SLOW DOWN When Driving
Of all the tips, slowing down is at the very top. While you should never speed, the chances of crashing while speeding on icy roads are significantly higher. You will be driving significantly slower than you would on a normal day so it is important that you allow enough time to get to your destination. Driving at a reduced speed will also allow time to stop or react if you have any issues along the way.
#2 GAINING CONTROL OF YOUR VEHICLE
Many people are at a loss of what to do in the event that their wheels lock up while driving in intense road conditions. In the event that your back wheels lock up, you will need to remove your foot from the gas and turn your wheel in the direction you need the front wheels to go, and gently pump the breaks. If your front wheels lock up, you will want to allow your wheel to turn freely, remove your foot from the gas and put your vehicle in neutral and once it stops turning you will be able to steer the vehicle. It is important that you do not panic or make any sudden movements to the vehicle if you lose control.
#3 Safety First: KEEP YOUR LIGHTS ON
It is important to keep your lights on, whether or not you are driving on ice. Winter weather can make it hard to see. Even if it is not snowing or icing, you need to make sure that you completely defrost your front and back windshields before you drive.
#4 DO NOT ACCELERATE
In icy highway conditions, make sure to keep your distance and try not to accelerate more than you need to, especially if trying to go up a hill. Applying extra gas on icy roads will only make your tires spin. You will need to build inertia before you try going up a hill and it is also important to note that you should not stop on a hill.
#5 DO NOT LET ICE STICK TO YOUR WINDSHIELD
If you notice rain turning to ice while you are driving, you should immediately turn on your defrost. This decreases the chances of icy sleet sticking to your windshield. If you notice that the ice begins to stick, you should pull over and scrape it off. It is very hazardous to drive with only a small space to see through on your windshield.
#6 KEEP APPROPRIATE GEAR IN YOUR CAR
It would be a good idea to keep some cold weather essentials in your car in case you are forced to drive on icy roads. Some items to consider are canned food, water, medicine, warm clothing, and a glass scraper. Other things to keep track of at all times are making sure that your tires are inflated and that you have at least half a tank of gas at all times. Storing the right cold-weather gear and ensuring that your car is in good condition at all times will make it easier for you in the event that you cannot drive through severe weather conditions.
Additional Winter Driving Safety Tips:
- Handling Skids and Maintaining Control: When you find yourself in a skid on icy roads, it's essential to stay calm. Avoid slamming on the brakes or jerking the steering wheel. Instead, gently steer in the direction you want to go. If your rear wheels skid, turn your steering wheel in the direction of the skid to regain control. For front-wheel skids, ease off the gas and steer in the direction you want to travel. Practicing these techniques in a safe, open area can help you react confidently in emergencies.
- Proper Tire Maintenance: Winter tires, also known as snow tires, are designed for better traction and handling in cold weather. Consider investing in a set of winter tires for improved safety. Additionally, snow chains can provide extra grip on icy surfaces. Ensure your tires are adequately inflated and have sufficient tread depth, as worn-out tires can reduce your ability to control the vehicle on slippery roads.
- Checking Weather Forecasts and Road Conditions: Before hitting the road during the winter months, check weather forecasts and road conditions. Knowing what to expect can help you plan your route and departure time accordingly. Be aware of any advisories, closures, or warnings issued by local authorities. Consider delaying your trip if conditions are severe, and it's not necessary to travel.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you find yourself stuck or stranded on icy roads, stay inside your vehicle to keep warm. Run your engine periodically for heat but ensure your exhaust pipe is clear of snow to prevent carbon monoxide buildup. Use your emergency kit, blankets, and extra clothing to stay insulated. Contact local authorities or roadside assistance, and let someone know your location and situation.
Legal requirements for winter tires or tire chains vary by region and may depend on the severity of winter weather. Some areas mandate the use of winter tires or chains during specific months or when certain conditions exist, such as icy or snowy roads. It's essential to check your local regulations to ensure compliance with any legal requirements.
To check road conditions and closures due to winter weather, you can use various resources. Consider using websites or apps provided by local transportation authorities or government agencies. Additionally, radio broadcasts and social media updates often provide real-time information on road conditions, closures, and advisories. It's advisable to check multiple sources before traveling in winter conditions.
Driving on icy roads can lead to various types of accidents and injuries. Common accidents include skidding, sliding into other vehicles or objects, and loss of control. Injuries may range from minor bruises and sprains to more severe injuries like whiplash, fractures, and head injuries. Additionally, icy roads can contribute to multi-vehicle pile-ups and collisions.
Yes, it is advisable to contact the police or authorities if you witness an accident on icy roads. Promptly reporting accidents can ensure that injured parties receive timely medical assistance and that the incident is properly documented for insurance and legal purposes. Providing details to the authorities can also aid in determining liability and assessing the need for further assistance, such as towing or road closures.
HERE'S WHAT TO DO NEXT
If you or a loved one have been injured and think you might have a case, call us now for a free consultation.