By now we all know that the entire Texoma area has pretty much turned into a winter wonderland. With all of the freezing rain, sleet, ice, and snow that has accumulated on the roads, driving conditions have become hazardous. It’s best to stay home for the next few days, until the ice and snow melts, and the roads are clear.

However, I realize that not everyone has the luxury of staying home during this winter storm. Some people such as policemen, firemen, linemen, and healthcare workers need to get to work. So, if you have to get out onto the roads, AAA has some tips on how to drive safely on the icy roads.

Before you leave your home, you need to clear any snow, and ice off your vehicle, by using an ice scraper and a snow brush. If there is significant snow accumulation, you may need to use a snow shovel to clear a path around your vehicle.  If someone is helping you push your vehicle, do not let them stand directly in front of or behind the wheels, since they could be injured by ice, or debris thrown up by the tires.

Once you start your car, be sure to let the heater run for a minute or two, before you turn on the defroster. This will help prevent moisture from fogging up the windshield.

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Once you are driving on the road, drive slowly. The posted speed limits are designed for driving conditions under normal weather conditions, not winter weather. Remember to use extra caution when traveling over bridges, and overpasses since they are the most likely to ice over first.

If you are driving at night then do not turn on your brights, as this could blind any other motorists on the road. Be sure that you leave more space between your car, and the vehicle in front of you while driving. The added distance between the two vehicles will be needed, in case you need to stop at either a stop sign, or a traffic light.

If there are multiple lanes on the road, be sure to stay in the lane that has been cleared of snow and ice most recently. If possible, avoid changing lanes. You can lose control when driving over built-up snow between the lanes. Never use ‘cruise control’ in winter weather conditions.

Do not slam on the brakes. Slamming on the brakes will only make the vehicle harder to control. If your vehicle starts to skid, don’t panic. Keep your eyes on the road, and steer in the direction that you want your car to go. If your car has a ‘rear wheel skid’, then once the wheels stop skidding, keep steering the vehicle to avoid another ‘rear wheel skid’ in the opposite direction.  If your car has a ‘front wheel skid’, before you do anything, wait for the front wheels to grip the road again. As soon as traction returns, you’ll be able to steer the vehicle again.

While it’s best to stay off the roads during a winter storm, these tips should help you arrive at your destination safely.  Remember to be sure that you dress warmly before leaving your home.  It's also a good idea to pack a flashlight, and ice scraper, a brush, a small snow shovel, and maybe even a blanket to keep warm, before you head out on the roads.  

If you want even more tips on how to stay safe on the roads in winter weather conditions, you can read the full document from AAA yourself by clicking here.  



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