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The lack of sunlight and cold temperatures aren't the only hazards that you have to deal with during the winter months.
In colder climates, the roads tend to become icy as the temperatures dip to below freezing at night or stay below freezing during the day. What are some strategies that you can use to stay safe on icy roads?
Ideally, you will drive at least five to 10 miles per hour below the speed limit. In some cases, you may need to drive even slower depending on traffic conditions, road conditions and the quality of your tires and brakes. If others on the road are driving at or above the speed limit, do your best to stay in the farthest right lane. This allows you to drive at a proper speed while allowing others to pass as safely as possible.
All vehicles take extra time to stop or slow down in icy or slippery conditions. You may want to give yourself an extra vehicle length or two when traveling behind commercial vehicles, especially big rigs, as they may have an especially difficult time stopping. You should also avoid trying to pass or turn in front of them quickly. Although many of them have been certified through an Advanced Heavy Vehicle Training Centre, and so they should know how to properly handle all road conditions, giving them space is necessary as ice and snow can be unpredictable.
Do you know what to do when your car starts to skid on an icy patch of road? While your first instinct may be to hit the brakes, it may be the worst decision that you can make. Instead of hitting the brakes, it may be better to simply drive in the direction of the skid. Eventually, your car will straighten out and regain traction with the road. From there, you can gently press the brake to slow the car down.
It is critical that you plan your route ahead of time if you know that hazardous weather is coming. This allows you to stick to flat roads that may be easier to slow or stop on. You should also make sure that you have a flat space to park on if you have to keep your car on the street.
When bad weather strikes, it is critical that you slow down and give yourself more time to reach your destination. This increases the odds that you get yourself and your passengers to and from work, school or the grocery store safely no matter how bad the roads get.