How to Drive Safely on the Ice

Winter brings a unique set of challenges for motorists. With plunging temperatures, any moisture on the road can freeze and turn to ice. Surfaces that are covered with moisture become very slippery. It is easy to lose control and get into an accident. Here’s how to drive safely on the ice this winter:

Gear Up

If you don’t have a car thermometer yet, then it might be a good time to get one. It will read the temperatures around the vehicle and provide you valuable information. If it goes down freezing levels, then you will know that the risk of ice forming is higher, and you can react accordingly.

You might also want to get a new set of tires if your old ones are no longer giving you confidence on slippery roads. It’s a small price to pay for safety.

Look Out

Be vigilant when you are behind the wheel. Look ahead and check for signs of ice. Unlike snow, which can easily be spotted, ice can be transparent and hard to see.

People have coined the term “black ice” to denote icy roads with a thin layer of transparent frozen water. The road will seem benign at first glance, but it will appear to be shiny when you get closer. Be very cautious while traversing these roads. “Black ice” often forms under the shade of trees and buildings. Water usually freezes at night and gradually melts during the day.  

Safe Driving Distance

It can be difficult to stop when you have little to no traction under the wheels. You are going to slide forward for a much longer distance. That is why you must drive further distance behind the car that you are following than.

It’s not that the brakes aren’t responding, there is simply not enough friction to provide an immediate halt. The bigger and heavier the car, the harder it will be to stop. Make sure that you are several meters away to prevent rear-end collisions.

Slow Down

You should also slow down considerably so that your momentum will not be so hard to control. Braking distance should be shorter, even on ice, if you are driving at a reasonable speed. It is better to add a few minutes to your travel time than end up with residual injuries.

Stay Calm

Try to stay calm while driving on ice. Do not panic and begin pumping your brakes or swerving around the road. Allow the car to slide until it stops by itself. If you had slowed down and moved away from other vehicles, then you should be able to pass icy roads safely. If you were a victim of an accident, then contact a NYC car crash lawyer.

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