Winter driving is exponentially more dangerous than driving during any other season. Rain, snow, and fog, coupled with frantic holiday shoppers and increased traffic on the roads because people are driving home for the holidays is a formula for disaster. If you live in an area where the roads ice over frequently, it’s important to abide by some basic safety tips to be sure you make it to your destination. Take a look at the tips below.
Avoid icy roads when possible
This might sound like a no-brainer, but staying off icy roads is the best way to avoid the dangers that come with them. If you have the time to spare, try waiting until the ice melts a bit before hitting the road. This is in the same vein as “turn around, don’t drown.” Ice on the road automatically increases your risk of getting into a wreck or getting stuck, so stay off them if you can.
Reduce your speed
If you don’t have the option of staying off the road, make certain to reduce your speed so you’re not driving faster than 45 mph. Black ice is the transparent, thin layer of ice that causes the most accidents on roadways. Tires simply don’t have enough traction to brake quickly on this kind of ice, so it’s best you drive slowly and keep more distance than usual between you and the car in front of you. Even if you’re on the highway, don’t go faster than 45 mph. If you feel your car fishtailing, which happens when your back tires lose traction and you start swerving, that means you are going too fast. Try not to overcorrect, because this may cause you to swerve off the road or into the car next to you.
Invest in winter tires
According to this article on AutoGuide.com, swapping your normal tires for winter tires during the colder months could keep you safer in snow and ice. There’s no guarantee that these tires will protect you from all the dangers of an icy road, but they provide special traction that other tires don’t have. There are a plethora of tires to choose from, and some perform better in deep snow versus icy roads. AutoGuide.com recommends the Yokohama iceGUARD iG52c tires, Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT, and Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3. Each set of tires has its own pros and cons and they exist on a spectrum of prices. Choose whichever set is in your budget and will suit the road conditions you encounter the most often.
What to do if you car skids on ice
Despite all your precautions, accidents can still happen. If you find yourself skidding on an icy road, this Mazda blog post recommends taking your foot off the accelerator and steering away from the skid. Avoid slamming the brakes and oversteering, because this will only cause your vehicle to lose more control.