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Tips for Staying Safe on Winter Roads

2 min read
Oct 12, 2020

Icy roads are one of the biggest dangers winter brings. Here are a few simple steps you can take to stay safe while driving until the weather warms up.

Change your tires

  • If icy winters are common in your area, swap your regular tires for snow tires to gain more control.
  • Snow tires have more contact edges than regular tires, allowing them to grip the road better.
  • The rubber on snow tires stays pliable in cold temperatures, which provides better traction.

Drive cautiously

  • Slow down. Quick turns and fast speeds can cause your wheels to spin out. Posted speed limits are for ideal driving conditions—not ice and snow.
  • Brake gradually. Slamming on the brakes, even anti-lock brakes, can cause your car to slide.
  • Give yourself enough time to brake. Allow up to 10 times the normal distance between your car and the car ahead of you.
  • If your car starts to skid or slide, take your foot off the gas and slowly turn the wheel in the direction you want the car to travel. As your car spins, work to regain a neutral steering position. You have more control when your tires face the same direction.

Know the roads

  • Know when and where ice forms before you leave the house. “Black ice” (a thin, almost invisible coat) is most likely to form on intersections, bridges, overpasses, underpasses, and ramps.

Be aware of other drivers

  • Keep an eye on the cars ahead of and behind you and stay several car lengths behind the driver in front of you.
  • If a driver follows closely behind your vehicle, keeping a slow pace forces them to do the same.

Nothing in these materials is intended to be advice for a particular situation or individual. These materials are for general information purposes only.