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SuperMouse's avatar

Any tips for driving on icy roads?

Asked by SuperMouse (30733 points ) January 3rd, 2009

I just got home from running errands, when I returned to my car it was covered with ice – as were the roads. I drove the entire way home in the lowest gear with my emergency blinkers on going about five miles per hour. Those of you with more experience, do you have any tips for me?

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15 Answers

jholler's avatar

Stay off the brakes, let the engine slow you down.

wildflower's avatar

Like jholler said, stay away from the breaks. Also, if it’s a manual, the clutch is your friend!
Go slow and if you start sliding, don’t overcompensate the steering. Take your foot off the pedal to slow down so you can regain control.

jasongarrett's avatar

Find a big empty parking lot and practice.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Wildflower knows what’s up! Going slow is really the best thing. If you anticipate more weather like that, think about snow tires or chains.

scamp's avatar

Also if you skid, turn your wheel into the direction of the skid. Turning against it will make you spin.

jasongarrett's avatar

Assuming there are other cars on the road, try following a more-experienced driver. Find someone driving cautiously, and follow them at a safe distance. Watch what they do when they approach turns and stops.

Know that hitting the brakes while turning is likely to cause you to slide. If your car does not have antilock brakes, you will need to pump the brake pedal if your tires lock up while trying to slow down.

There’s really no substitute for experience. The next time it snows, find a parking lot and practice. Find out how long it really takes you to stop. Find out what your car feels like when it slides, and what you have to do to get it back under control.

asmonet's avatar

If you’re even going to approach the speed limit, mind it.

andrew's avatar

Brake early. You want to smooth out your momentum, since that reduces skidding.

@jasongarrett’s remark is really good. Go somewhere where there’s a lot of room and skid around. Knowing the limits of your vehicle—and how to correct the situation if you do start to skid—is much more valuable in saving your life than driving at 5 miles an hour.

I did this as a teenager, and can comfortably drive a sports car in snow. Wheeeee!

scamp's avatar

I was reminded of this by this question. It’s why my friend in Portland Oregon refuses to drive when it’s icy.

90s_kid's avatar

Make sure your car isn’t a Lexus GS ,,(* , *),,
Drive Slow

SuperMouse's avatar

@Scamp, that is exactly what it was like as I was driving home today! People were sliding sideways downhill and barely making it uphill. Just driving straight was challenging enough, but turning a corner reminded me of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disneyland! To a California girl, the entire thing was absolutely terrifying!

TheBox193's avatar

No sudden turns
No sudden anything.

El_Cadejo's avatar

The clutch is both my friend and my enemy in icy weather. Its my friend because it makes stopping much easier like wildflower said. But its my mortal enemy when i go to start again. EGH icy roads, i spin tires at every single stop sign no matter how slowly i try and start.

@scamp oh god….i coulndt stop laughing… i think it was the music

Blondesjon's avatar

Don’t…stay home.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

driving on ice will kill you faster than anything, Blondesjon has it right, stay off the roads. Even if you do everything right and go slow and take your time, etc, some retarded lunatic is probably going to slam into you because they are too stupid to understand how to drive on ice. I have four wheel drive, but on ice, if I don’t go slow, I’ll go in the ditch just as fast as someone with two wheel drive. There is some great advice here, but it’s up to you to decide if your life is worth the hazard.

The danger is the ice, and even if you know what you are doing, other drivers will get you killed quick. I’ve seen it too many times.

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