Ice means a lot of things to a lot of people. It can bring to mind visions of colorful icicles during the holidays or cool, refreshing drinks on hot summer days. But for drivers, like my mom, ice can conjure up other mental images.
Ice is hazardous to drivers in a number of ways. Let’s start with the obvious – road ice. When roads are slick and covered with ice, tires cannot get the traction they need to stay where they should. Driving on icy roads requires practice and patience.
Here are the most important things to watch for when driving on icy roads:
· Other Drivers – just because you can control your vehicle doesn’t mean the person in front of you can control theirs. Watch out and drive defensively on icy roads.
· Black Ice – this is especially dangerous because it is hard to see. Black ice can occur with just a little moisture on a freezing day and creates a major driving hazard. Pay attention to the climate and conditions when you are driving, especially at night when the temperature drops.
· Slush – ice can hide under snow and slush. Even if the roads are salted or sanded, a layer of ice beneath can cause you to lose control. Always look for the road under the slush and if you cannot see it, drive cautiously.
Ice is notorious for other problems, even when you aren’t driving! Cars can easily get stuck in ice and slush. This is when kitty litter, sand or other debris can be used to gain traction. Ice can also impair your vision. Always be sure all of your windshields and mirrors are ice and snow free before you drive.
Your engine is not a big fan of the frozen tundra, either. Anti-freeze was aptly named because it acts like a liquid blanket keeping the fluid, fluid on bitter cold days. When fluids freeze up they expand. If this happens inside your engine, it leads to some big-time engine problems. The last thing you want is to be stranded on a sheet of ice with a dead engine, all alone with your kitty litter.
Ice can even be a bugger before you get in your car! Electric locks can freeze up quickly. If they do, try using a hair dryer, de-icer or even your breath to melt the ice. But for the love of everything auto – do not stick your tongue on the lock! Remember Flick from a Christmas Story? Stuucckk, stuuuucccckkkk, STUUUUUCCCCKKKKK!
Don’t let ice cause problems for you. If you find that you are stuck, you have Women Auto Know on your side. Practice these safety tips and your icy driving experience can be NICE, NICE, Baby!