DIY

Here’s how to safely correct your car if it slides on an icy road

January 9th, 2020

Driving on ice is extremely dangerous. It poses unique risks and challenges that even really skilled drivers wouldn’t want to encounter.

To avoid the dangers of driving on ice, there are a couple of things you have to do.

First is to make sure you know the weather conditions before driving. Icy roads can happen with two things- freezing temperatures and the presence of any precipitation, such as snow and rain.

By knowing the exact temperature outside as well as the presence of precipitation, you should be able to reschedule your appointments and drive at a later and much safer time. Generally speaking, once the temperature drops to about zero degrees Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit, you should start getting concerned.

You should also know the most common places where patches of ice can develop. Overpasses and bridges are good examples. Even if they are treated, they can still develop black ice quite fast.

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YouTube Source: YouTube

Apart from those areas, you should also be careful of untreated road surfaces and lightly traveled roadways. You need to careful when crossing construction zones, railroad tracks and when you’re traveling through areas with changing road surfaces.

If icy roads are imminent, make sure to drive slow. Try to keep your speed within 45mph or less. You’d obviously want to avoid correcting a slide than to experience one.

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Unsplash Source: Unsplash

If your area is prone to freezing rain and you really need to drive on ice, there are a couple of things you can do to travel on the road safely.

1. Don’t use your brakes.

Using your brakes won’t stop your car from sliding. In fact, it can actually trigger a slide. Once you hit the brakes, you’ll lose control of the car almost instantly.

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YouTube Source: YouTube

Additionally, you should also be careful about making sudden movements with your steering wheel. All driving motions should be done in slow motion so you can safely navigate your car.

2. Turn into the slide.

Make sure to turn your front wheels in the same direction where your vehicle’s rear part is sliding.

For example, if you realize that your car’s rear end is sliding to the right, turn your wheel to the right. Once you feel that your car is starting to straighten out, you can straighten your steering wheel.

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YouTube Source: YouTube

When you’re correcting a slide at this point, you need to be ready for the car to swing back in the opposite direction.

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YouTube Source: YouTube

Remember that the motion can happen several times and you need to respond properly each time.

3. Don’t panic.

If you oversteer, you’ll give your car an angular momentum which will cause it to rotate into a full spin.

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YouTube Source: YouTube

It will also cause the car to rotate faster than you can correct the spin with the steering wheel. Try to remain calm and keep your focus on the road and the direction of your car.

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YouTube Source: YouTube

No matter how good you are in driving, it’s best not to risk your life and safety. If an icing event is expected in your area, consider staying at home until it’s over.

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Source: YouTube

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