Safe Driving on Ice?December 7, 2018
Is it possible to drive safely on ice? The answer is a resounding no.
However, it is possible to stay safe this winter by first correcting some common misconceptions about driving on icy roads.
- Driving in a warm climate: Even warm climates found in southern states like the Carolinas and Florida can experience icy road conditions in winter.
- Larger vehicles with 4-wheel drive perform better: No vehicle will have enough traction to perform well on ice.
- Skilled drivers are at lower risk: Any type of driver is at risk for losing control on an icy road.
- Small patches of ice are not treacherous: Most accidents occur during minor snow storms and icing events.
- Icy spots can be avoided: Black ice is difficult and sometimes impossible to detect, until it is too late.
Safe Driving Tips for Icy Roads
Overconfidence and getting caught off-guard are two important contributors to devastating and fatal icy road accidents. Additionally, traveling at high speeds makes it even more difficult to stop, and easier to lose control. In the case of black ice, it is important to remember that a car can slide off the road at a speed of just 10 miles per hour.
In addition to staying alert and reducing speed, follow the tips below to stay safe on the roads this winter:
- Stopping: Depending on the weight of the vehicle, icy conditions require three to 12 times the distance needed to stop on dry roads. Drivers should compensate for this by leaving a greater distance between their vehicle and the one in front.
- Steering: Avoid jerking the wheel or turning it suddenly, which can cause fishtailing and loss of control.
- Detecting black ice: Often, winter roads have a grayish-white color caused by salting residue. Keep an eye out for shiny, black surfaces ahead, which can indicate black ice. Approach the spot slowly and with caution.
Correcting a Slide
However, even if a driver follows all these safety precautions, how a car will perform on ice is often unpredictable.
For those that find themselves fishtailing, sliding, or skidding, the below techniques may help a driver regain control of their vehicle:
- Keep off the brakes: Hard braking can cause a slide or make the slide worse.
- Turn toward the slide: Turning the steering wheel in the direction that the back tires are sliding may help to regain control of the vehicle.
- Do not panic: Panicking can lead to abrupt movements, jamming on brakes, and overcorrecting.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Assist Those Injured in Icy Road Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another on an icy road or other type of weather condition, contact a Baltimore car accident lawyer at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Our personal injury lawyers are experienced in Maryland car accident laws and can help to determine the type of compensation you may be entitled to. Call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.