The cast of Ice Road Truckers knows everything about driving on icy road surfaces. If you think about it, it’s quite an accomplishment to haul one or more heavily loaded trailers through hundreds of miles of wintry conditions. And, if you’ve ever seen an episode, you probably noticed the expertise each demonstrates when his truck begins to spin out. Large trucks plus heavy loads equal a lot of momentum, and it takes a cool head and precise driving to prevent accidents.
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Not many of us drive huge 18-wheelers on icy highways in the far north, but everybody who lives in a climate with cold winters runs the risk of encountering icy roads. About 190,100 crashes per year happen on icy pavement, according to statistics from the Federal Highway Administration. So, it’s important to know how to stay safe if you have to drive on icy roads.
Even if you’re an experienced driver, it’s a good idea to review the following points to help prevent you from spinning out:
Even if you drive safely, an unexpected patch of ice can sometimes catch you unaware and set your car into a spin. If you find yourself in a skid, the NHTSA advises letting up on the gas and steering in the direction you want the front of your car to go. Experts warn that you should not hit the gas or the brake until you have control of your car again.
Of course, it’s always smart to avoid driving in winter conditions whenever possible. If you have to drive in the ice and snow, do what the “Ice Road Truckers” do: Check local weather warnings before leaving and keep the radio tuned to a local channel for the latest traffic alerts.