Idaho State Police has reported that winter driving conditions have been the cause of multiple car accidents on US Highway 26. A large number of vehicles have been in accidents and others are disabled in the icy and snowy conditions. High-speed winds have created snow drifts across the roadway and also have limited visibility particularly for east/west roads. Part of US Highway 26 has been closed by the Idaho Transportation Department. All motorists are encouraged to use caution and only travel if they must. The following are three key elements to avoid a car accident while driving in winter conditions.
Three Key Elements to Avoid a Car Accident While Driving in Winter Conditions
Driving on snowy and/or icy roads is a completely different experience than driving on dry pavement. Many car accidents occur during winter months from snow or ice covered roadways in Southeast Idaho. To keep you and others on the road safe, here are three key elements to avoid a car accident while driving in winter conditions.
Keep your full attention on the road at all times when driving in snow or on icy roads. It is always important to be distraction free while behind the wheel but even more so when road conditions are hazardous. Stay alert and aware of what is going on around you at all times. Another helpful tip is to always look for a way out in the event an emergency arises. For example, if the car in front of you suddenly brakes know what is next to you and if you can suddenly move over to avoid a crash. Remember it takes longer to brake on snow or icy roadways.
Another key element to avoid a car accident while driving in winter conditions is to drive slower than you normally would on dry pavement. Get a feel for the road by starting out nice and slow testing your steering and braking ability. There is no safe speed range on snow- or ice-covered roadways. Instead, be extremely cautious and weary until you can determine how much traction your tires are getting. Typically, a safe driving distance in the snow is five seconds behind the person in front of you.
The best way to avoid an accident is to never lose control in the first place. Losing control is how most accidents in the snow happen. Remember to accelerate and brake slowly but steadily. When stopping, avoid sudden movement of the steering wheel and brake gently. Avoid locking the brakes and if possible don’t stop at all.
Another great tip to keep control is to watch for dangerous spots ahead. Ice can often remain on places such as bridges even if the rest of the road appears clear. Another place to be aware of is in shaded areas where ice has not had a chance to melt.
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