Winter brings treacherous driving conditions, and ice storms can present more severe driving conditions than even major snowstorms. Snow actually can enhance traction on icy roads, while ice storms deposit layers of treacherous, often-invisible, ice on virtually every surface. Follow these tips to stay safe when you face icy road conditions:
- If you don't have to drive, don't. Let the road crews - and Mother Nature - improve bad conditions before you leave. Just a few hours can make a huge difference in driving safety.
- Check your tires. Make sure you always have enough traction - don't try to make those tires last just one more winter if the treads are worn.
- Make sure the defroster is working. If your vehicle's heating system isn't operating properly, fix it now.
- Keep the gas tank full. This will keep the fuel line from freezing and ensure you have enough gas in case you are stranded in traffic.
- Stock up on supplies. Always carry a functional scraper and a small shovel in your car during winter. Year-round safety items should include a cell phone, flashlight and extra batteries, blanket, emergency sign and a high-protein snack bar.
- Tell someone where you're going. If you're heading out for a trip on icy roads, let someone know your destination, the route you're taking and how long you will be gone.
- Listen to the authorities. If the local safety authorities recommend you stay off the road, take their advice.