Tips for Driving on Icy Roads

Driving on an Icy Road

If you live in an area where it snows and rains throughout the cold winter months, learning tips for properly driving on icy roads can be a life-saver. It's always best to avoid traveling on these roads whenever possible. If it can't be avoided, there are a number tips to remember that can help compensate for a lack of experience at driving on icy roads.

Does Tire Quality Matter on Icy Roads?

Having the proper tires equipped on the vehicle is one of the most important tips to remember when traveling on icy roads. Our tire service center can help install proper tires. For proper traction on snowy and icy conditions, the tire tread should be a least 6/32-inch deep. New tires on passenger vehicles usually have a tread depth of 10/32-inch to start with. The tire may have a wear bar indicating when the tread has worn down to 6/32-inch or 3/32-inch.

Dangerous Driving Conditions

When your traveling on the snow and ice, affordable winter tires will typically provide you better handling than the leading all-season tires. If you do go for winter tires, it should be the full set. Do not mix-and-match winter tires with all-season tires before you may increase the risk of crashing your vehicle in bad weather.

If you only have winter tires on the front it will be harder to steer in snow and more likely to spin on dry surfaces. With winter tires only equipped on the front, the vehicle will be more likely to spin out on the snow or to drift off road on both wet or dry surfaces. Winter tires may not be ideal on dry, damp or wet surfaces, but they are recommended if the winter roads you travel are regularly covered with snow and ice.

Watch Your Driving Habits

Having a vehicle with all-wheel drive (AWD) or electronic stability control (ESC) with an anti-lock braking system (ABS) goes a long way when driving over icy roads. However, effective steering is often just as important for safely navigating your way through icy conditions. In order to properly use ABS on your vehicle in icy conditions, stomp and stay on hard on the pedal as you smoothly steering around the hazard.

If your front tires begin to skid, ease off the accelerator to slow down, resist the impulse to oversteer or slam on the brakes. If the rear begins to skid, handling the vehicle becomes much more challenging. Ease off the accelerator and timing the steering and braking for when the vehicle gains traction again takes a fair amount of practice for even the most experienced drivers.

If you'd like to learn more about which tires and driving tips to use when traveling on icy roads, come down and speak with one of the representatives at Gwinnett Place Ford.

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