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Tips for Driving on Ice

As winter approaches and the temperature begins to drop, it can be important to revisit safe driving habits to keep yourself and others safe on the road. First, make sure you take care of basic safety precautions, make sure your seatbelt is on, make sure you are slowing down, it is actually illegal to drive the speed limit if weather conditions are poor. Make sure your full attention is on the road, we are all guilty of multitasking while driving it is so important to be fully attentive to the roads because the conditions could change at any time. What you really need to watch out for are icy roads. Sometimes icy roads are obvious and sometimes they are not, if it is black ice or at night it can be hare to tell where the ice begins and where the ice stops. Here is how to check if the road is icy and how to deal with slippery conditions:

1. Always have Cold weather gear in your car, this includes but is not limited to: warm clothing, flashlight, food and water, a glass scraper, and a first aid kit. This is a “just in case” method. Just in case the snow storm worsens and you can’t drive. Just in case you slide off the road or get into an accident and your car no longer works and you have to wait for assistance.

3. Avoid driving vehicles without all wheel drive and or a four-wheel drive feature.

2. The first step is to lightly tap your breaks, if you feel your car slide then there is ice. Be sure to specifically check for ice when going down hills so you are not caught off guard.

3. If you feel your car sliding DO NOT slam on your breaks, keep tapping your break. If you slam on your break then your car has a very high chance of sliding, especially if your wheel is not completely straight.

4. If your car does begin to slide and you can’t regain control only use slow movements. Slow breaking and slow wheel movements.

5. Bridges freeze first because it has cold air coming from the top and the bottom so before an icy bridge straighten your wheel and try to not touch your wheel or gas while you are going over it, this reduces the chance of your car sliding out while on a bridge; which has higher consequences then if your car were to slide out on a normal road.

6. Now in a worse case scenario and you can’t slow down or gain traction your first response should be to look for grass or dirt (even if covered by snow). There might be snow but if you can maneuver your car onto the grass and dirt your tires will get better traction then on direct ice with asphalt beneath it.

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