First off, Emergency Ice would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! We hope everyone enjoyed a day or two off the job. We know we did. Earlier this month, North Texas was slammed with some bad winter weather about two weeks ago, in the form of lots of freezing rain, sleet, and even a bit of snow. This caused some serious ice on the roads, and some serious wrecks on highways and roads all over the Dallas and Forth Worth areas. We understand that freezing weather may only come once or twice a year, and we all know someone who has complained, “bad weather turns everyone into bad drivers”. We’ve probably made the same complaint, too! After we saw how the Metroplex nearly seized up for a few days from this weather, it got us thinking: Winter is still around, what if we end up having to deal with this again? So, we’ve decided to offer our readers some basic winter weather driving tips, in case another winter storm rear it’s ugly head. Here’s how to keep your car, and yourself, safe on the road in the event of ice or noticeably dangerous driving conditions.
First, let’s define hazardous driving conditions caused by winter weather:
- Loss of friction due to wet, snow fallen, or icy conditions
- Restricted visibility due to fog, falling rain or snow, or vehicle spray (commonly from bigger vehicles)
- Infrastructure damage like a flooded road or iced over bridge
When you see any of these signs while driving or planning a trip, it might be time to consider that taking time driving safely and securely is much more important than getting to your destination quickly.
If you see trouble on the road, apply these driving methods to keep yourself and the other motorists safe from harm:
- Reduce speed. This is rule #1 and should be at the front of your brain at all times. You have more reaction time, more weight, and more friction in place to keep you vehicle from sliding.
- Give yourself at least three times the normal following distance on snow or ice. That means absolutely no tailgating, and giving yourself as much space to brake in the event you encounter slippery roads.
- Pump the brakes on stops. Your tires won’t spin out on the ice and you’ll seriously reduce the risk of losing traction and fishtailing.
- Use extreme caution on bridges, ramps, overpasses and shaded areas as they often freeze first and hardest. Most area accidents occur in these spaces.
- If you start to slide, ease off the gas pedal and don’t slam the brakes. Steer into the direction of the skid until you feel you have regained traction then straighten your vehicle.
Remember: Less speed and more space = less sliding around, and less accidents. If you have any further questions, the Texas Department of Transportation has information on how to deal with winter weather, and you may also check DriveTexas.org to find any information you may need regarding any Texas highway conditions, not just regarding weather.
Bad weather doesn’t stop our work here at Emergency Ice. We’re on staff to deliver ice anywhere in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, 24/7. Take it from the masters of keeping it cool, and use these tips when the bad weather hits to keep safe on the roads!