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Safe Travel Tips on Icy Roads | Travel & Vacation Tips & Resources

Safe Travel Tips on Icy Roads

If you’re going away for the winter holidays this year, there are certain precautions to be taken while driving on icy roads, regardless of whether you are an expert and accomplished driver. Driving on snowy and/or icy roads is only possible when you are in control of your vehicle. But even then, it can take just one simple mis-step to lose control.

Even though the wheels of your vehicle have special tread patterns engraved on them to allow the tire to keep a firm grip on asphalt roads, this is not the case during a winter storm where the underlying ice makes for hazardous driving conditions.

The car, instead of gripping the surface of the snow-covered ice and screeching to a halt, will skid. The slippery surface of the ice-covered street does not allow for friction which causes the car to stop.

When planning to drive on snow-covered streets, it is important to:

  • Change the regular tires to snow tires and/or utilize chains on the tires as an extra safety measure. Also ensure the tires are properly inflated.
  • Drive the car slowly. Maintain an appropriate distance from the car in front of you so that if you do skid, you will be able to stop the car before hitting another.
  • If snow is falling when you are driving, it can restrict your view. This is why it is so important that you change the windshield wipers frequently. Use the heating system in the car, but keep a window open slightly to prevent the windows from fogging up inside.
  • Use extra caution when you are changing lanes or making turns. Signal well in advance of the turn so that the car behind you has adequate time to adjust their speed.
  • If your brakes give out, pump them. However, do not attempt to pump the brakes if your car is equipped with anti-lock brakes.
  • When skidding, turn the wheel towards the direction you are skidding; not against it.
  • If the roads are particularly icy, take a different route. Avoid hilly streets.
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