7 Steps to Safe Driving on Icy Roads
Driving during harsh weather conditions can be a daunting task, even for the most experienced driver. The snow and ice usually make the roads wet and slick, thereby presenting a high risk of an accident occurring.
However, this does not mean you should not drive at all when it is snowing. It just means you have to be extra careful and take every precaution to ensure that you and your car are adequately prepared for the journey on icy roads.
As you plan your trip through the wet and slippery roads, here are a few ways by which you can ensure car safety;
Before winter arrives, get your vehicle checked in advance. If possible, take it to an auto mechanic's shop and let them examine the critical components of your car like the engine, tires, battery, coolant, and oil.
Your tires should have the adequate pressure and thread for driving on icy roads as worn out tires would not be able to gain enough traction on the road, so your car will slip and slide making it a treacherous journey.
Winter is not a good time to be in a hurry. Your speed should be considerably less than the speed limit of the area. Driving at a low speed helps you to be better equipped to control your car when the situation goes awry.
Endeavor to maintain the right amount of distance between your car and the car in front of you. Doing this will ensure that you have time to react safely if something happens to the car in front.
As a parent, you do not just worry about your safety alone, but also that of your family. Children should be secured in baby car seats that meet Australian standards.
Teenagers and adults should also have seat belts properly fastened. These safety measures will serve as an extra layer of protection for you and your family if something goes wrong.
There is no telling what might happen on the way to your destination. This is why you need to pack an emergency kit that should include a first aid kit, car jumper cables, and thick winter clothing like jackets and blankets.
Ensure that you have a spare tire that is in good condition. Do not leave your home without a fully charged phone, to be able to call emergency services if you need help.
Some situations might occur that will make you want to react quickly by slamming your brakes. This action should be avoided as it can lead to worse scenarios.
Pushing your brakes spontaneously will cause your tires to lock up and slide on the ice instead of gaining traction. If you need to stop, pump your brakes slowly until your car slows down ultimately.
When something unexpected happens, our knee-jerk reaction is usually to panic and overreact, which would mostly complicate the situation. If your tires suddenly slip, do not swerve sharply to the other side as this can cause your car to spin, thereby causing you to lose control of the vehicle.
If you feel your car sliding on the road, slow down and gently turn your wheel towards the side, it is slipping. This action will straighten up your tires and prevent spinning or overturning.
When driving during the winter, it is advisable to use the main highways instead of the back roads. The main street would have been plowed, the heat from the passing cars would have thawed the ice a bit, and it will be easier for you to get help if you get stuck.
If you do not feel confident in your ability to drive safely on icy roads, it is better to not venture out at all so as not to be a danger to yourself and other motorists.