Tips on how to drive during icy conditions

TxDOT deicing truck getting road to go out on Dec. 28, 2017. (KXAN Photo/Erin Cargile)
TxDOT deicing truck getting road to go out on Dec. 28, 2017. (KXAN Photo/Erin Cargile)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — With the possiblity of ice forming on Texas roads this holiday weekend, driving might get a little tricky.

AAA Texas has forecasted 8 million Texans will drive during the year-end holiday period. Whether you’re going up to the Panhandle or to West Texas, here are some tips on how to navigate wintry weather conditions.

Prepping your vehicle

Some things to consider include inspecting the battery, ignition system, lights, brake system, tires, exhaust system, heating and cooling system, windshield wipers, washer and glass.

What to do if you hit a patch of ice

Some driving situations require abrupt action to avoid a crash or collision and in winter conditions the decision to steer or brake can have very different outcomes. When traveling more than 25 mph, AAA Texas recommends steering over braking to avoid a collision in winter-like conditions, as less distance is required to steer around an object than to brake to a stop. In slick conditions, sudden braking can lead to loss of vehicle control.

However, sometimes steering is not an option. Braking on slippery surfaces requires you to look further head and increase following and stopping distances. Plan stopping distances as early as possible and always look 20-30 seconds ahead of your vehicle to ensure you have time and space to stop safely.

If your vehicle begins to skid, follow these basic steps:

  • Continue to look and steer in the direction you want the car to go.
  • Avoid slamming on the brakes as this will further upset the vehicle’s balance and make it harder to control.

Focus on driving

Don’t text and drive. Remain alert.

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