Ice and Snow On the Roads

This is the time of year when the weather can be unpredictable. While we don’t tend to see a lot of snow here in Montgomery, anything is possible. Even though we may not have a huge threat of inclement weather here, it’s still good to learn about driving on snow and ice for your travels.

Why is it dangerous?

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, about 24% of all car accidents are weather-related, and snow and ice are some of the biggest culprits. It also states that 70% of the nation’s roads are located in snowy regions which can receive on average 5 inches or more of snow each year.

Ice will form when there’s moisture on the road and the surface temperature drops below freezing. This slippery surface stops your tires from getting a good grip on the road, which makes steering and braking difficult. As temperatures typically fall overnight, you may notice more ice in the early morning hours.

Although the problem usually stems from icy roads covered by snow, snowy roads can also cause problems for drivers. Driving over snow-covered roads can cause the snow to compact under tires, which will create a slippery surface similar to ice. Even if snow is not dense enough to compact, the precipitation from the snow will cause the ground to become slick which can also make it difficult for tires to grip.

Keep in mind, the ground will warm up less quickly than the air even though the outside temperature may be climbing above freezing, you may still see snow and ice on the roads. While the thermometer may show a comfortable number, if there was recent freezing, stay on alert for slick spots.

Driving on snow and ice

In our previous blog, we discussed tips for driving in the snow. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Reduce your speed.
  • Leave additional space between cars for extra braking time.
  • Don’t accelerate or brake hard. Just lightly apply and decrease pressure on the pedals to keep control.
  • Keep your eyes on the road and the drivers around you.
  • Avoid stopping on hills – getting started from a full stop in the snow can be very difficult. Instead, start slowing your speed in advance and let your car slowly roll until the light has changed.
  • If you skid, look where you want to go, not where your car is going. This will give a little extra control.
  • Keep an emergency cold weather kit accessible.

If you are traveling at all this season, check the weather along your route and be safe. Come into Performance Auto any time to have your vehicle inspected to make sure it’s winter-ready.

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