HOW TO SAFELY NAVIGATE ICY ROADS

by HLF Editor on February 2, 2017

By Gary Sorenson, CEA, CLCS, PLCS, President, Insurance Brokers of Minnesota

With winter weather in full swing you might encounter some snow packed and icy roads during winter season here in Minnesota. Let’s take a look at how you can keep yourself, your family and your vehicle safe when the roads become hazardous due to extreme weather.

Preparation is key
The first step in making sure you are safe on the roads this winter, is to ensure that your vehicle is prepared for icy roads. U.S. News & World Report, an online news magazine, suggests all vehicle owners follow several best practices to ensure their cars are ready. This includes maintaining the proper inflation of tires at all times, as well as having them rotated and aligned regularly. Good tire tread is very important as bald tires don’t grip just slide; also snow tires are also an option that should certainly be considered for the winter.

According to the news provider, brakes and brake pads should be regularly checked throughout the winter. Increasing the frequency of your visits to your car service center is also a smart idea this season, as you’ll want to know that all of the mechanical aspects of your vehicle are in optimal working order in case you encounter ice and heavy snow. Furthermore, if you are planning on driving through wide open areas that the wind can alter road conditions quickly and visibility.

Know how to handle ice
Now that you have your car prepared, you need to understand how to operate your vehicle on an icy road. Edmunds, an automotive publication, suggests easy breaking when you encounter ice. Slamming on the brakes can quickly lead to a complete loss of control. If you do begin to lose control, the website argues that you first take your foot off of the gas but not attempt to brake and allow the car to slow down.

No matter how seasoned of a driver you might be, an icy situation will test your mettle and the outcome will rely upon your instincts and reflexes. As such, Edmunds did note that taking a professional driving course that focuses on training for icy conditions can be beneficial. These courses are somewhat expensive, but can provide useful information to save your life (and your car). So consider taking a look at courses offered in your area.

Drive safely out there!

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