Driving in inclement weather is one of the most difficult things to learn as a new driver. Icy road conditions are some of the most difficult hazards to handle. One of the scariest things that I saw was when my fiancee and I were driving along an icy highway the day before our wedding when she got into a horrible accident. The fact that I could do nothing to help her once I saw her enter a spin was probably the worst feeling I have ever had in my life.
Luckily, there are some things that any driver can do, even those who are inexperienced, to help keep them from feeling that same horrible feeling. While these tips aren't going to completely eliminate the danger that comes from driving on icy roads, they can help reduce them.
- Handling. Whether you get into a car or truck, one of the things that can affect your driving skills is how your vehicle handles. All vehicles handle differently due to the unique attributes inherent to that particular vehicle, speed, the conditions of the road, and the materials used in the construction of the road.
- Speed. Be aware that speed is going to affect what happens when you drive in any condition, and particularly when there is ice. Make sure that you are only going as fast as you feel comfortable. If you feel even the least bit nervous, slow down. Do not be afraid to pull over if necessary.
- Maintenance. Prior to leaving on any road trip that could involve driving on icy roads, make sure that you have performed the necessary maintenance. This includes checking your tire pressure to keep it within the parameters set forth by the manufacturer, as well as checking all the fluid levels in your car. Tire pressure is the single greatest maintenance problem that affects your vehicle's handling, regardless of the road conditions.
- Experience. No matter how long you have been driving and how good of a driver you think you are, consider taking a winter driving course with a certified driving school. These courses will help give you the experience and confidence you need to successfully handle what the road is going to throw at you.
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