Driving is Discouraged, But if You Must Go Out…

Posted 7:30 a.m.

Virginia Department of Transportation officials are asking everyone to stay off the roads today. There’s a layer of ice below the falling snow that’s making things very slick, and the heaviest snow will come this morning.

If you absolutely have to drive, here are some tips for driving on black ice and snow:

Black Ice:

Here’s what to look out for:

  • Pavement that looks dark, wet or like new asphalt.
  • Low-lying areas that may have standing water or runoff      from nearby melting snow banks or puddles.
  • Bridges and underpasses.
  • Vehicles that have slid off the road under any of the      above conditions.

Tips for Driving on Ice and Snow:

  • Slow down! Stopping on snow or ice without skidding requires extra time and distance. Drive slowly – below posted speed limits, so you can adjust to the conditions. This is especially true at intersections, off ramps, bridges and shady areas where black ice can form without being noticed.
  • Give yourself more distance from cars ahead—maintain a minimum of 8 to 10 seconds in following distance.
  • Brake early, brake slowly, brake correctly and never slam on the brakes.
  • Avoid any sudden or excessive actions while steering, braking or accelerating so you don’t lose control. Accelerate and decelerate slowly.
  • Focus your attention as far ahead as possible—at least 20 to 30 seconds. Watch to see if other vehicles are having problems on the road ahead, which may give you the split second you need to avoid a crash.

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3 responses to “Driving is Discouraged, But if You Must Go Out…”

  1. Aditya Bhatnagar says :

    I thought you were supposed to slam on the brakes, if your car has ABS. Or should we brake gracefully, but hard, with ABS?

    • Umman Khawaja says :

      If you have ABS, and I have it on my car, you are supposed to brake normally and gracefully. There is no need to slam on them. However, leave enough room for breaking distance and brake early just as you would with normal brakes. You can and will slid or slip on ice, ABS will give you more control in steering.

  2. Umman Khawaja says :

    While driving an automatic, it is recommended to shift in lower gears on icy and treacherous conditions. If you have rear wheel drive, I would not drive in these conditions unless you have traction control.

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