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Sleet, Snow, and Ice: How to Stay Safe on Slippery Roads

Sleet, snow, and ice are the culprits of many auto accidents in the winter. If you only drive in these conditions occasionally, it’s difficult to develop the skills and experience needed to avoid collisions on slippery winter roads. While the best way to sharpen your driving skills is getting behind the wheel to practice, here are some tips to keep in mind when heading out on slippery roads this winter.

Stay in Control

Slippery roads significantly increase braking distance. Whether on snow or ice, you can expect it to take longer to brake to a stop. Similarly, ice and snow can cause your tires to lose traction. So the first thing you should do is drive slower when the roads are slippery. This can reduce the chance your tires will lose traction and make it easier to come to a full stop if you lose control.

You should also increase your following distance. Because braking times are longer and the risk of losing control is greater on slippery roads, you need to increase your following distance, so you have a better chance of bringing your vehicle to a stop or avoiding a collision with the vehicle in front of you.

Easy Does It

In addition to driving slower and increasing your following distance, take it easy when turning or accelerating. Slippery roads are difficult to navigate, and accelerating can cause loss of traction. Similarly, executing turns on slick roads—even at very low speeds—can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Corners and intersections are dangerous points in the road to lose control because pedestrians and bicyclists are more likely to be crossing the street. To keep yourself and others safe, be gentle with the accelerator and cautious when turning.

Watch Out for Other Drivers

No matter how slow and safe you drive on slippery roads, you could still get in an accident. Other drivers on the road pose a threat to you, so watch out for them. And if you are involved in an accident, contact an attorney right away. A knowledgeable Arlington Heights car accident attorney can explain your rights and help you navigate the insurance claims process from start to finish.

R.F. Wittmeyer

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