Many roads can be wet or icy during this time of year in New Mexico. Snowfall can cause dangerous driving conditions that can leave you unable to see a few feet in front of you or make the roads so slick, causing accidents. In order to help you, and other drivers on the road, get to your final destination safely, we’ve put together some tips to keep you safe.
6 Driving Tips for Icy Conditions
Although driving in icy or wet conditions can be inherently dangerous, there are precautions you can take to maximize your safety potential. These precautions include:
1. Switching your tires. Switching your tires to ones with more tread (new ones or special tires) on them can give your car more contact with the ground, increasing the amount of friction produced. The more friction between your tires and the ground, the easier it is to stop, even in bad driving conditions.
2. Planning your route ahead. Planning your route ahead can help you be aware of and avoid dangerous road conditions before you begin your trip. You can look up road conditions before you start driving.
3. Accelerating and braking gently. Accelerating too quickly or stepping too hard on your brakes can cause you to lose control of your vehicle, especially on icy or wet roads. Apply gentle, even pressure to accelerator or brake for maximum control.
4. Slowing down. Keeping more of a distance between you and the car in front of you and be able to be more aware of your surroundings, like ice, on the road. As a rule, three seconds of time between the car in front and the car in back should be kept, at a minimum. During wet or icy conditions, keep at least five seconds. You can gauge distance by picking out a landmark ahead of you, but close to the road, such as a bridge or stop sign, and start counting once the rear bumper of the car ahead passes the landmark. If you count to five before your front bumper reaches the same landmark, you’re at a safe distance.
5. Exercising caution over bridges and overpasses. Avoiding bridges and overpasses when possible can help you avoid a road that is covered in ice. These two structures have a tendency to freeze quicker than other roads and can pose problems when you are trying to cross them. If you cannot avoid a bridge, use more caution by slowing down.
6. Wearing your seatbelt. Wearing your seatbelt can protect you, in case your car becomes out of control or you are involved in an accident. Use both the shoulder and the lap straps for the highest level of safety. Always buckle up before you start your engine.
If conditions are bad enough, it might be the best idea to skip the trip altogether. Make sure you monitor the conditions and forecasts frequently before you head out. It’s always better to be safe.
Got in an Accident?
Sometimes, accidents happen, even though precautions were taken. If you have been in an accident, drive your car–or have it towed–to Quanz Advanced Auto Body. We can fix everything from mechanical issues to body damage with the help of our experienced technicians and high-tech equipment. Bring your car in today. No appointment is necessary!