Winter weather is more than watching snowflakes through the window while drinking hot cocoa. Driving on icy roads can’t always be avoided. Driving in these dangerous conditions can lead to car accidents, which, in turn, leads to injuries and aches.
How to Drive Safely on Icy Roads
Winter brings a variety of driving hazards like sleet, slush, and snow, which can freeze into ice on the roads. There is even black ice which makes it even more dangerous because it blends in with the black pavement. All variations of ice on the road are a risk to drivers. Fortunately, we have expert tips to help you drive safely on icy roads this winter.
- Stay Calm
While being nervous driving in bad weather is normal, you want to stay as calm and clear-headed as possible. Panicking makes everything worse.
- Be Prepared
During bad weather months, make sure you always have at least half a tank of gas and a window scraper in the car. A small snow shovel, gloves, hat, and blanket are smart additions in case of emergency.
- Mind Your Speed
Never drive more than 45 mph in icy weather, even if the road allows a higher speed limit. A significantly slower speed might be necessary, depending on the road conditions.
- No Slopes
If possible, avoid hills and other high-level terrains that become dangerous in icy weather. Bridges can be equally hazardous because they freeze faster than regular roads. That’s even true for small overpasses.
- Keep Your Distance
Road safety experts always recommend keeping enough distance between you and the car in front of you for safety. It’s referred to as the “four-second rule” it maintains a four-second gap between you and the car in front of you to provide reaction time. In icy weather, you want to leave even more distance between you and the car in front of you in case of skidding or sliding. In heavy traffic or at night, you want to switch to eight seconds, and in icy weather, at least 12 seconds.
- Take It Slow
Accelerate and decelerate slowly – more slowly than you think you need.
- Steer Into Skids
If you start to slide or lose control of your car, take your foot off the gas, pump your brakes, and steer into the skid to regain control before steering away from it.
What is the four-second rule? Pick a landmark and when the car in front of you passes it, count – zero, one, two, etc. until you pass that same landmark. You want to maintain enough distance that you get to a count of at least four during normal driving conditions.
Of course, no matter how careful you are, accidents can happen. If you’re in a car accident, visit a hospital if there’s any chance of broken bones, internal injuries, and the like to rule out the worst injuries. Then consider a chiropractic examination to check for more subtle injuries, misalignments, treat post-accident aches and pains, and more.
Total Chiropractic Care Is Here To Help
If you’ve been involved in a car accident and suspect you are suffering from whiplash, we are equipped to handle your recovery. Even a minor accident could cause spinal misalignment leading to ailments you may not even be connecting to the accident. This includes difficulty concentrating and insomnia and these ailments may even be reimbursed by your insurance.