When you’re driving during the winter months, one of the common sights you see this time are people wearing mittens, winter jackets or coats woolen hats. Unfortunately, wintertime experiences also include road accidents, icy roadways and motorist injuries.
A common injury that motorists sustain during the cold season is whiplash, a neck injury commonly caused by rear-end vehicular accidents. The immediate diagnosis and treatment of a whiplash injury are necessary even the symptoms don’t surface right away. This medical problem could negatively affect an individual’s quality of life, as the individual may eventually experience debilitating symptoms, such as neck pain, neck stiffness and concentration impairment.
When the weather isn’t favorable, you should just stay at home and hit the road some other time. If circumstances compel you to travel by car, however, you’ll need to take measures to drive safely on the ice.
Here are a few safety tips to help you navigate the icy winter roads:
- Install Winter Tires on Your Vehicle
This specific type of tire offers more driving control in icy road conditions. Although the price of this car component might seem high, it’s less expensive than the repair bills following a road or vehicular accident.
What’s more, these specialized tires provide you peace of mind, as they have superior tread patterns that allow you to navigate snowy and icy roadways with confidence.
- Learn How to Drive on Black Ice
Black ice forms on the road surface after the freezing (or re-freezing) of rain or snow. This kind of ice is incredibly difficult to recognize, as this frozen mass looks almost completely transparent.
Rather than squint your eyes trying to find this substance, anticipate where and when this ice can form. A common spot for black ice is bridges, as the temperature from the air blowing underneath is usually cooler than the roadway.
Given that black ice can affect your vehicle handling and stopping distance, you need to learn how to navigate roads with this condition. Here are tips to help you traverse roads with black ice:
- Keep a watchful eye on the vehicles in front of you. If they’re swerving suddenly and uncontrollably, stay away from them. These motorists most likely drove on an icy patch.
- Get a good feel for how your vehicle responds when you begin to slide or hit the brakes quickly.
- Practice driving your vehicle with your winter tires.
- Refrain from Using Cruise Control
Driving with cruise control for some motorists has become second nature. If you’re driving on an icy road, avoid relying on this feature.
Using cruise control on ice, snow or rain is incredibly dangerous. If your vehicle skids or hydroplanes, it will go faster and spin its wheels rapidly, as it’s trying to keep a constant speed. You’re in deep trouble when this happens, as you’re bound to lose control of your car.
- Maneuver Your Vehicle Properly When You Start Sliding
Sliding on an icy roadway is inevitable, so you have to keep your composure when this happens. Besides staying calm, here’s what you should do:
- Focus on where you want your vehicle to go. Don’t pay attention to the other vehicles on the roadway. Your goal is to come out of this dangerous situation alive.
- Fight the instinct to use your brake. Pushing down on your brakes will make the sliding worse.
- Reduce your speed by removing your foot on the accelerator.
- Steer your vehicle gently. Never jerk the wheel, as this could cause your car to overcorrect and send you spinning out of control.
Applying these four tips will help keep you and the other motorists safe on the icy roadways. Knowing exactly what to do when you drive under harsh winter conditions could spell the difference between getting in a horrific road accident and arriving to your destination in one piece.