Safety Tips for Midwest Cold Snaps
Welcome to winter!
Given the conditions out on the roadway today, I thought I would share some driving tips from West Bend Mutual as they relate to black ice.
I was out this morning and there seems to be a thin layer of ice under everything. With the single-digit temperatures, the salt and sand may not work as quickly as usual, so it’s a good time to keep some of these thoughts top of mind while driving.
Note that these tips talk about the temps being around 32 degrees and ice forming, but with the cold weather coming, we are going to have some freezing and thawing on the roadways that acts the same.
Read on to learn how to keep you and your family safe on the roads!
- Pay attention to your local weather forecast. If the temperature is around freezing and precipitation is expected, be on the lookout for icy conditions and slow down. Take extra caution on bridges and overpasses.
- Watch for tire spray. When another vehicle is passing you, look at the passing motorist’s tires. If you see water spraying off the tires, the road surface is still wet. If you don’t see water spray, the precipitation could be freezing on the roadway.
- Be on the lookout. Since black ice is transparent and thin, it can be very difficult to see. If black ice is present, the roadway may be darker in some spots and lighter in others.
- Stay in your happy place. Find a driving lane where you’re comfortable and stay there. Weaving in and out of traffic increases your chances of hitting a patch of ice and putting you and others in danger.
- Straight as an arrow. When driving, keep your steering wheel as straight as possible. If you need to turn your wheel, make very small adjustments; don’t do anything drastic.
- Both feet out. Braking and accelerating in icy conditions can cause you to lose control quickly. If you realize you’re driving too fast for conditions, take your foot off the accelerator and let your car slow down naturally; don’t apply the brakes.
- You aren’t invincible. When it comes to ice, four-wheel drive doesn’t provide any stopping advantages over a regular vehicle. Respect the poor weather conditions and drive sensibly.
- Only use cruise control on dry pavement. If you have cruise control on and your vehicle starts to hydroplane, you can quickly accelerate to an unsafe speed and spin out of control.
Thanks again for allowing us to protect your families. Be careful out there.
West Bend Mutual