Winter weather can be beautiful, with fresh fallen snow, cool crisp air and lovely days and nights. Unfortunately, the winter season can also be a dangerous time of year, with icy roads, sudden snow squalls and limited visibility.
If you find yourself on ice, you need to take extra care. Even four-wheel drive vehicles can have problems stopping when the roads ice over, so no matter what you drive, you need to take your time and be careful. Here are some tips to help you stay safer when driving on ice.
Driving on ice can be challenging, and you need to slow down when weather conditions demand a more cautious type of driving. It may take you a few minutes longer to reach your destination, but the slower speed will increase your odds of arriving safely.
Watch Out for Black Ice
Not all ice is visible, and black ice is one of the biggest changes this time of year. Black ice happens when the temperature warms in the daytime and drops again at night, leaving those wet patches of road iced over and dangerous. If you are out and about after dark, you should assume that black ice could be around. So slow down, watch the road surface and be ready to react if need be.
No matter where you drive or what type of weather you are facing, it is important to be prepared. That means having an emergency kit in your trunk, including road flares or cones, a warm blanket, a flashlight and a spare charger for your smartphone. These emergency supplies can help you in an accident, allowing you to call for help or flag down passing drivers for assistance.
Get Yourself Unstuck
Ice is a problem because it is so slippery, and that can leave you spinning your wheels and going nowhere. It is easy to get stuck on the ice, and it is important to be ready. Carrying a bag of non-clumping kitty litter is a good place to start; you can sprinkle the litter on the ice to get traction. A piece of cardboard under the stuck wheel can also get you out of a tough spot, so keep a few of those Christmas boxes in your trunk.
Weight Down Your Vehicle
Having more weight in your trunk can help you get more traction in ice and snow, so now is not the time to clean out your vehicle. In fact, you might want to add a few items to give you more weight when the ice and snow start sticking to the roads.
Turn Into the Skid
If you do find yourself in a skid, do not panic, and resist the urge to turn the wheel in the other direction. Turning away from the skid can make you lose the little bit of control you have, so turn into the skid instead.
Driving on ice can be a real challenge, but there are things you can do to stay safer on the road. The tips above can help you stay safer behind the wheel no matter how bad the winter weather gets.