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Let it Snow: Safety Tips for Driving on Ice

Let it Snow Safety Tips for Driving on IceDriving on ice is extremely dangerous and poses unique challenges and risks. Even the most skilled drivers should avoid driving when the roads ice up. When the temperature gets close to freezing, you should start getting concerned. However, driving on ice isn’t always avoidable. What should you do when you’re required to drive on icy roads to reach your destination?

Prepare 

Equip your vehicle with chains or snow tires. Chains are by far the most effective and should be used where ice and snow remain on the roadway. 

Correctly operating windshield wipers and defrosters are also essential to safety while driving in snow and ice conditions. Make sure to check them before you set out!

Feel out the road by starting out slowly and testing your steering control and braking ability. Avoid spinning your tires when you start by gently pressing your gas pedal until the car starts to roll. Start slowing down three times sooner than you normally would when turning or stopping.

Remain Calm 

If you discover that you’re driving on ice, you must first and foremost remain calm. Never hit the brakes or make any sudden movements with the steering wheel, even if you feel yourself sliding. The best thing to do is to slowly take your foot off the accelerator. Slow down as much as you can without putting yourself in danger of being rear-ended. 

Find a Secure Location 

Find a safe and secure location to park your vehicle, such as a parking lot. It is not recommended that you stop on the roadway, including the shoulder. Unlike with snow where you can normally navigate through, when driving on ice, you should find a safe location to park as soon as possible. 

Correspond with Conditions 

Reduce your speed to correspond with conditions. There is no such thing as a “safe” speed range at which you may drive on snow or ice. You must be extremely cautious until you are able to determine how much traction you can expect from your tires.

When stopping, avoid sudden movements of the steering wheel and pump the brake gently. Avoid locking of brakes on glazed ice as it will cause a loss of steering and control. 

Take Other Precautions 

Maintain a safe interval between you and the car ahead of you. Keep your vehicle in the best possible driving condition. The lights, tires, brakes, windshield wipers, defroster, and radiator are especially important for winter driving.

Don’t start driving until the windows are defrosted and clean – even if you’re only going a short distance. Watch for danger or slippery spots ahead. Ice may remain on bridges even though the rest of the road is clear. 

Watch Out for Black Ice

The most dangerous driving condition is driving on black ice: a thin layer of frozen water containing very few air bubbles. The lack of bubbles causes it to be completely transparent, taking on the same color as the surface it’s attached to. The only real visual warning you’ll have is that the roadway will have a wet appearance

Black ice is especially difficult to detect when there is no sunlight illuminating the surface of the road which can sometimes create a glare. At night, it is nearly impossible to see even with the best headlights. Whether the roadway has been treated or not, black ice can form extremely quickly. Be very cautious on bridges and overpasses, especially if they appear to be wet, as this surface may actually be ice.

This time of year is one of the most dangerous times to drive, especially if you live in a region with severe winter weather. Before taking any trips (long or short), make sure that your Auto Insurance is up-to-date and ready to provide coverage in the event of an accident.

About AJ Benet Insurance Agency

At AJ Benet Inc. Insurance Agency, we make sure that your New York Business Insurance policy includes more than the simple general liability and product liability. Our policies extend in cases where your underlying limits are exhausted. Our team of experts is willing to go the extra mile and not only protect your business but understand it. For more information, call us today at (914) 381-2040.

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