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  • Writer's pictureCarole Chantler

Driving safely on icy roads

Regardless of the weather, most of us still need to go outside in the winter months. If you are caught trying to get somewhere when freezing rain starts and the road turns into a hockey rink, here are some helpful tips to remember.

1. Have the right winter tires properly inflated.

Use tire chains if the road gets slick. Also, just because you have a four wheel drive vehicle, it too can slide on ice.

2. Ease up on the gas.

Slow way down. If you do go into a skid, you are less likely to get hurt. Accelerate and apply brakes slowly. Increase stopping distance - you will need 10 times the distance you would use on dry roads.

3. How to tell if road is icing up.

Don't use your car thermometer as your only judge of road temperature. Look for ice on wipers, side mirror, road signs and trees as extra proof that caution is needed. Unless you really need to avoid driving at night or very early in the morning. It will be the coldest time.

How to drive downhill in slippery conditions if you have ABS brakes.

  • start at the top of the hill as slowly as possible

  • leave your vehicle in normal drive gear

  • to maintain the right speed, use light steady pressure. This will provide traction.

To drive downhill in slippery conditions with no ABS brakes, start slow and keep it slow by lightly piping the brakes.

Do not use cruise control in icy conditions. If your vehicle feels like it is floating, take your foot of the gas but don't slam the brakes on.


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