10 Dec Winter Driving Tips: Stay Safe on the Ice
It’s been a relatively mild fall/early winter here in Montana, but the cold, icy weather of winter looks to be upon us. So, let’s talk about winter driving safety. Here in Montana severe weather comes at a moment’s notice, and you should always be prepared in the event of icy or snowy road conditions; weather conditions accompanied by severe crosswinds can quickly drift-in the roadway. The first safety tip is to keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. Keep it under the seat or in the glove box. Keep a flashlight in the vehicle and keep your cell phone charged. Make sure you have a way to keep safe if you end up stranded/stuck.
Remember also to keep your tires properly inflated. Underinflated tires are a hazard on the ice. Keep the gas tank at least half full. An empty gas tank could cause the fuel lines to freeze.
When you drive on icy roads do not use the cruise control. Watch the weather reports/check your phone for forecasts before you go somewhere. When the roads are snowy/icy treat the accelerator pedal/brake as if there is an egg beneath it (This is a good idea even when the roads are dry because you will burn less fuel). Take your time when you brake for lights and through turns—you need extra time to stop on icy roads. If you can help it, do not bring your vehicle to a complete stop while on a steep slope. And when you crest over the top of hills, remember that you’ll need to slow down before you go up and over the top; if you’re carrying too much speed the downhill side could be dangerous. When you do brake on the ice—it doesn’t matter if your vehicle is equipped with anti-slide features or even anti-lock brakes—brake with the ball of your foot, keeping your heel on the floor.
We hope that you stay safe on the roads of Montana this winter. Remember to use caution and to keep your vehicle in tiptop shape so that you can be better equipped to handle the ever-changing conditions.