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Winter is almost here, and nasty driving conditions will accompany the lousy weather. Icy roads make even routine travel a challenge, so be sure you are prepared to minimize the risks of winter driving. Below are some tips to keep in mind so that you can avoid damaging your car this year.
The best way to have an accident on icy roads is to hurry, so slow down and allow yourself extra travel time. Accelerate slowly so that the car won’t skid, and avoid stopping when you don’t have to. Apply the brakes gently when you must stop. It’s also smart to avoid using extra power going uphill on ice or snow, or the car may start sliding all over the street. It takes longer to stop when roads are slippery, so allow at least twice the distance as you normally would.
If you do much winter driving, you will find yourself in a skid sooner or later. Don’t try to use the brakes or gas at all, or you might lose control of your car entirely. The best thing to do is take your foot off the pedals. Simply guide the vehicle in the direction you want it to travel until you regain full control.
Snow chains are a winter driving accessory that can allow you to get where you need to go even when the roads are really bad. Be sure to check the chains before each use, and fix loose cross chains if necessary. Driving on dry pavement with chains installed can tear up your tires, so use them only when it is really necessary.
Ice, road salt and harsh winter conditions are hard on a car’s paint. You can protect your car’s paint by washing and waxing it before winter weather sets in. It’s also a good idea to keep some paint on hand to touch up scratches before they start to rust.
Road salt melts ice on streets, but it can also can corrode a car’s undercarriage. Many body shops will apply a protective oil coating for you. Another way to minimize road salt corrosion is to use a car wash that sprays under the car to remove accumulated salt and dirt.
The best advice for driving on icy roads is to stay home. However, sometimes you have to be somewhere, so you must risk having an accident even when you are careful. Slowing down reduces car damage and the risk of injury, but you could end up in traffic court or facing a lawsuit. Retain a good car accident lawyer if this happens. Experienced accident attorneys understand the legal issues, and your chances of getting a favorable decision will be much improved.