Car accidents have the potential to be tragic occurrences. Unfortunately, they are so common that people have accepted them as a normal part of life.
In fact, it’s estimated that the average person will deal with some sort of vehicle collision at least once every 20 years.
But, many car accidents can be completely prevented through vigilant driving. This includes not only maintaining awareness of other drivers, but also the road conditions.
We all know that driving just after it rains is one of the most dangerous times to be on the road. Icy roads, however, are even more hazardous to travel on.
While many drivers will never experience driving on ice, there are plenty of people who need to know how to deal with it.
Continue reading to learn about how you can prepare yourself for driving on icy roads and make it to your destination safely.
More often than not, avoiding a crash while driving isn’t a very difficult thing to accomplish.
But, driving fast on icy roads is a surefire way to ensure that you get into one. The faster you’re driving, the longer it’s going to take for you to come to a stop.
Since there is less traction on icy roads, a slight bend in a 45 MPH zone could spell disaster.
Even if you have to go under the speed limit while driving on ice, going slow is a necessary measure that every driver should take during icy conditions.
Ease on Your Brakes
As previously mentioned, there is very little traction on the ice that you’re driving on.
As a result, braking too hard or too quickly can cause your vehicle to slide into an object, another vehicle, or even a pedestrian.
Antilock brake systems (ABS) will often lock the car’s tires if you begin sliding, making it impossible to control where your vehicle is headed.
This is due to the fact that locked wheels on a vehicle can’t be manipulated by turning the steering wheel. This leaves you at the mercy of your vehicle’s momentum, and nothing good can come from this situation.
Slowly easing your foot onto your brakes when attempting to slow down can mean the difference between a safe trip and an accident.
Hills are one of the most dangerous types of terrain when driving on ice. Not only will it be fairly difficult for you to travel to the top of the hill due to the icy conditions, going down the hill could prove to be a huge mistake.
The momentum of your vehicle’s downward movement combined with the poor traction of the road conditions will send you sliding off into a terrible situation.
If your journey involves going over a hill, it’s best to find an alternate route with flatter terrain.
Check Before You Drive
The best way to prepare yourself for driving on ice is to be aware that you have to drive on ice. Check the road conditions before you leave if you feel that icy roads may be in your near future.
If you begin your trip mentally prepared, you’ll have a much safer experience.
Furthermore, you should check your tire pressure to see if your tires are inflated. Even slightly deflated tires can make it harder to keep your vehicle under control.
Stay Away from Other Drivers
So, you’ve done all that you can do in order to prepare for driving on ice-covered roads. You’ve checked your tires, vowed to drive at an appropriate speed, and even took the time to find a safer route.
But, just because you took the proper precautions doesn’t mean that other drivers did.
This is one of the most important safety tips for drivers who are braving icy conditions simply due to how unpredictable other drivers can be.
If another driver loses control, you’ll be glad that you were nowhere near them on the road.
Similarly, you could injure another driver if you lose control of your own vehicle and collide with them.
If you find yourself getting into an accident with another driver, don’t worry. It’s not the end of the world.
Consult a reputable attorney team, like those at Zanes Law, to handle what happens next.
Be Aware of Black Ice
Black ice is notorious for causing accidents. While regular ice is visible on the road and is easy to discern, black ice is so thin that it is transparent.
Furthermore, black ice tends to form on roads that are dry, meaning it often catches drivers off-guard when they are traveling.
Although this type of ice is thinner than regular ice you find on the road, it is just as dangerous.
If you live in an area with a cold climate, it’s important to know that even a slight drizzle can cause black ice to form. Always be cautious when you’re driving on particularly cold or cloudy days.
Wear Your Seatbelt
While this may seem obvious, it’s even more important to wear your seatbelt when you’re driving on ice.
If something unforeseen were to occur and you became involved in an accident on an icy road, there is a high chance that your seatbelt will save your life.
It is not uncommon for vehicles to roll or drivers to be ejected from their car during accidents involving icy roads. No matter the circumstances, you should wear your seatbelt 100% of the time while driving.
The Best Defense? Avoid Driving on Ice
The best way to avoid something is to eliminate it as a possibility. Unless it is an emergency, you should avoid driving on ice and wait for the road conditions to improve.
Sunny days will cause the roads to return to normal in a short amount of time. If you plan on driving in overcast weather or during the evening, you may want to postpone your trip.
While vehicles are common enough for most families to have one, there is plenty of information about driving that people aren’t aware of. To learn more, check out our blog.