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Tips for Driving on Icy Roads

Wait for conditions to improve. The best way to avoid an accident on an icy road is to simply stay off the road until the threat passes. Nothing can inconvenience you more than a wreck!Take it slow. High speeds make it easy to lose control on ice and snow. The second best strategy to avoid an accident is significantly reducing speeds when icy conditions are a threat.Wear your seat belt. Even though wearing your seat belt should already be a no-brainer at all times, during the winter it's even more critical. An alarming number of icy road fatalities occur with minor accidents where the vehicle occupants were not wearing seatbelts.Pay attention to the weather. Make the weather forecast part of your daily routine during the winter. Awareness of conditions will help you be more prepared. Go easy on your brakes. Brake application is a common trigger of slides that result in a loss of vehicle control. ABS (antilock brakes) do not work well on ice and snow and will often lock up your wheels regardless of conditions. Sliding wheels are uncontrollable, and steering input will not change the vehicle's direction when the wheels are sliding.Turn into a slide. Turn your wheels in the direction that the rear of your car is sliding. It helps to look with your eyes where you want the car to go, and turn the steering wheel in that direction. It is easy to steer too far causing the car to slide in the other direction. If this happens (called overcorrecting), you will need to turn in the opposite direction. Icy road accidents happen in multiples. Your own accident is sometimes not the greatest threat to you. Additional out-of-control vehicles can also cause severe a threat, so remain aware of your surroundings at all times.Don't stop for accidents or stranded vehicles along an icy roadway. Being a Good Samaritan is a noble thing, but on an icy road it can cause more problems than it solves. Parking on the side of an icy highway can cause passing drivers to brake and lose control, putting the lives of everyone involved in danger. Unless the stranded driver is in immediate danger, the best thing you can do is contact the authorities who are equipped to safely block the road or divert traffic.These safe driving tips were compiled by Safety Director for the City of Tuscaloosa Willie Simpson. Learn more about these tips and other safety precautions you can take by visiting