Slick roads are dangerous roads. People should stay at home where possible to ensure safety. People who must go out should prepare themselves for the slippery road conditions of winter. There a several scenarios that could occur while driving on slick road surfaces. In some circumstances, being prepared could mean the difference between life and death.
Essential travel tips for slick roads
Cell phone/Car charger
Carry a cell phone when preparing to drive on slick roads. Make certain there is a car charger for the phone as well. Enter emergency numbers, which include a towing company, AAA and family member/friend. Having a phone will ensure the ability to get help quickly. Plug the phone into the car charger before leaving home.
Clear the windshield off before leaving home. Fill the windshield washer fluid in the vehicle as well. This is a critical step. Visibility on slick roads allows the driver to see what is ahead clearly. Clearing off the windshield so all points are visible on the road assures the driver will not have a blind spot. Having a blind spot on an icy or snowy road creates an extremely dangerous situation.
If not possible, keep speed down. Do not travel the speed limit on an icy road. The faster the speed of the vehicle, the less control the driver has over the car. Drive below the speed limit to gain the best control on slick roads. This will prevent accidents, but will also keep the driver from receiving a ticket for driving too fast in difficult conditions.
Distance between vehicles
Stay a safe distance behind other vehicles when driving on slick roads. It is important to give extra stopping time to allow for sliding. Do not tailgate in slick roads. Tailgating behind someone who is nervous about driving on slick roads make the conditions far more dangerous than they have to be.
Carry an emergency kit in case the car slides off the road and becomes stuck. Although getting help is easy enough when carrying a cell phone or when on busy streets, help can take some time to get there. If on back roads which have little traffic, this is especially important.
The kit should include, at minimum:
♦ Two-day supply of food
♦ Two-day supply of water
♦ Battery operated radio
♦ Change of clothes including thermal socks and underwear
♦ Car maintenance
Before travelling on slick roads, ensure the vehicle is ready. Have all fluids filled, get an oil change done, check tire pressure/tread and make certain the brakes are working properly. Getting regular maintenance on the vehicle will keep the driver and passengers much safer when travelling on slick roads. Keep a car repair kit in the vehicle as well.
Car repair kit
♦ Portable air compressor
♦ Spare tire (check prior to leaving to assure it is in good condition)
♦ Jack/lug wrench
♦ Boards (to place under tires if stuck, this helps give the tires traction)
♦ Jumper cables
Take extra precaution when travelling on slick roads. Listen to the radio to get updated weather and road condition reports. Extreme weather causes some roads to close down. Avoid those roads at all costs. When a state declares a "state of emergency", drivers can be fine for having the vehicle on the road. Heed these warnings and stay off the roads unless absolutely essential.