We’re fast approaching that time of year where there’s a layer of ice on our roads every morning. Some of us are already having to get up ten minutes earlier so that we can clear our windscreens. And, these conditions are only set to worsen. Before we know, we’ll be dealing with icy roads all day long.
For some, the idea of driving in such conditions doesn’t wash. These people would rather face the stresses of public transport than risk going behind the wheel. In reality, though, this isn’t always necessary. While ice on the roads can be dangerous, thousands of drivers manage to cope with these conditions every day.
The reality is that it should be possible to drive your car no matter how icy those roads. At least, it will if you avoid slipping up on the following common cold-weather mistakes.
Not letting your car defrost enough
The clock is ticking, or perhaps you woke up late. Either way, it seems like your car’s taking an ice age to defrost. As such, you pull out before your back window, or even your windscreen is clear. They’ll catch up with you, won’t they? Perhaps, but it only takes a second of lost visibility to have an accident. When the roads are icy, you need to be able to see where you’re driving, and what other cars are doing. This frees you to spot severe patches of black ice, and to swerve if another car skids towards you. That’s why you should NEVER set off before both your back window and your windscreen are clear of any blockages. If that means being five minutes late then so be it. It’s better than not arriving at all because you’ve had an accident.
Not checking roads ahead of time
In weather like this, not checking road conditions before you head off is another fatal flaw. Accidents are a sure sign of the most dangerous areas. By doing your research ahead of time, you can stick to roads where traffic is flowing. There, you can rest easy there aren’t any really treacherous conditions. The chances are, too, that ice will melt faster with the heat of those moving tires than under the stagnant wheels of gridlocked traffic.
Sticking to the speed limit without question
This one may throw you, but it’s the most important point of all. Though you may think you’re staying safe on the road by sticking to that speed limit, you’re actually putting both yourself and others at risk. The fact is that a 60 mph speed limit is never going to end well in icy conditions. If you hit a hidden patch when you’re going that fast, you’re sure to cause a pile-up. Instead, you should always knock at least ten mph off the speed limit. You’ll notice that other drivers do the same, so there’s nothing dangerous about this. That small reduction could be the difference between controlling your car if it slides, and not standing a chance.