Reduce risks and stay safe while driving in icy conditions – CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – When winter weather arrives, it can cause problems even for the most cautious and experienced drivers – so how can you reduce the risk?

Rain is dangerous because most motorists treat it like a dry road and snow is hard because it takes control of you, but ice can make you powerless behind the wheel.

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Tire shots and videos are pretty much a winter cliché, but not all shooting is the same.

“Snow and ice are two different ball games,” said Jim Clair, owner of Ultimate Defensive Driving.

“Snow, we can get around and it takes time, but when you’re on the ice there’s no friction between the tires and the street service,” added Clair.

Clair also says that overconfidence is a big problem.

“They think they can handle it for a single drive,” says Clair of people who have a new car with traction control.

“Well, it doesn’t do much for you when you’re on the ice,” Clair said.

SEE: John Shumway of KDKA reports:

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Clair also says that four-wheel drive can make people feel more confident, but the vehicles will have trouble stopping in the ice.

According to Clair, the best defense, other than not driving, is to slow down and leave plenty of space around you.

When engaging with a slide, the main ingredient behind the slide is too much speed. Clair says the best defense for a slip is to slow down, anticipate and avoid sudden moves.

Clair says it’s good to get a feel for the roads as you leave the house, and that can be done by giving yourself a little test stop after getting in the car.

If you’re not sure if you’re on ice or water, it can be helpful to look at the rear tire of the vehicle in front.

If there is no nozzle from the tire, then you are most likely facing an icy situation.

Slowing down ahead of where you want to stop can help avoid problems. Also, allowing more space in front of the vehicles ahead of you is key.

If you step on the brake, the car has anti-lock brakes, so you shouldn’t pump the brakes. Clair says to use the ‘mash and steer’ approach, which means pressing the brakes and letting them slam to slow you down as you continue driving.

It’s important to remember that the larger the vehicle, the more weight it has, so the longer it will stop.

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Make sure your tires are properly inflated, as too much or too little air can increase stopping distance and decrease your control. Reduce risks and stay safe while driving in icy conditions – CBS Pittsburgh


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