December 21st technically marks the first day of winter. Several states see winter weather and snow accumulations starting in October. With winter upon us, now is an important time to refresh your memory about what you should be doing when the roads become slick. Here are our 10 tips for driving on icy roads.
When roads are icy, it’s a good idea to slow down. You want to be able to see the ground in front of you and be confident that you’re safe. Drive at whatever speed you need to in order to make this happen, even if this means you are driving below the speed limit. As a general rule, you should not drive faster than 45 miles per hour if there are slick road conditions.
Being late is a common cause for speeding. To help reduce the odds of speeding, make sure that you leave with plenty of time to get to your destination. When you are not rushed or stressed about being late, you will be better able to focus on the dangerous task at hand – driving.
Many accidents that happen during bad weather involve multiple cars. By leaving room between you and the car in front of you, you greatly reduce the risk that you might hit that car if another automobile hits you.
When you pump or slam on your brakes, you could lock up your anti-lock braking system (ABS). This will lock up your wheels and send you sliding. If all of your wheels are locked up, strategic steering cannot help you.
Bridges and overpasses are the first spots to get slick. Although you should always keep a watchful eye for ice on the road, you want to be particularly mindful when you’re driving on these potentially dangerous areas.
Despite modern advancements in safety such as lane monitoring, your car cannot sense if there is ice ahead. Now is not the time to let your car be in control of its speed. Instead, you need to decide what is the safest speed for you, the people in your car, and the other people driving around you.
You need to prepare for the absolute worst-case scenario whenever you travel during winter. Always make sure to have plenty of water, blankets, gloves, hats, and other items that could protect you from the elements or keep you warm in case you have to leave your car. You also want to make sure that you’ve got sturdy shoes just in case you have to walk in bad weather.
Let’s say you’re driving and hit a patch of ice that you didn’t see. Your back end starts to slide out to the left and, before you know it, you’re starting to spin clockwise. To correct this, turn your steering wheel counter-clockwise (to the left). When your car regains control, you may have to make some additional adjustments to be situated correctly in your lane.
When it’s icy outside, the best way to avoid an accident is by staying inside. If you don’t have to go out during bad weather, don’t.
Seatbelts are life-saving devices. You never know what the other drivers around you will do, but you can control what you do. If you wear your seatbelt, and you reduce the chances of serious injury or death.
If You’ve Been in an Accident…
We hope you follow these tips and that all your winter travels are safe. However, if you are involved in an accident in Nebraska, you can count on us to help. Call Inkelaar Law today at (877) 537-4665 or contact us online to find out how we can help.