The National Weather Service in Fort Worth and Dallas calls for inclement weather tonight bringing a mix of rain, sleet, and possible some snow through tomorrow morning. Please allow yourself extra driving time in preparation for the inclement weather.
The three key elements to inclement weather driving are:
- Stay alert;
- Slow down; and.
- Stay in control
A few extra cold weather driving tips include.
- Pay attention to the weather: Make the weather forecast part of your daily routine during the winter. Awareness of conditions will help you be more prepared.
- Reduce your speed: Slowing down is the most important thing to do when driving on ice and snow. High speeds make it both easy to lose control and difficult to stop. You should never be driving faster than 45mph in any vehicle when roads are icy – not even on highways! In many cases, much slower speeds are necessary. You can slide off of the road on certain types of more treacherous icing – like black ice – at 10mph or less! If you’re fishtailing or sliding at all, it means you are going too fast for the conditions.
- Wear your seat belt: Even though wearing your seat belt should already be a no-brainer at all times, during the inclement it’s even more critical. An alarming number of road ice fatalities occur with minor accidents where the vehicle occupants were not wearing seat belts.
- Don’t drive on icy roads: The best way to avoid an accident on an icy road is to simply stay off the roads until the threat passes. Nothing can inconvenience you more than a wreck or getting stuck! Avoid being on the road if you can.
- Go easy on your brakes: Brake application is a common trigger of slides that result in a loss of vehicle control. ABS (antilock brakes) do not work well on ice and snow, and often will lock up your wheels regardless. Sliding wheels are uncontrollable, that is, steering input will not change the vehicle’s direction if the wheels are sliding.
- Turn into a slide: If you’re fishtailing or sliding, it usually means you are going too fast. Reduce your speed so you won’t need to worry about this! Most high-speed slides are difficult to correct successfully. If you’re caught off guard and begin sliding, turn your wheels in the direction that the rear of your car is sliding. It helps to look with your eyes where you want the car to go, and turn the steering wheel in that direction. It is easy to steer too far, causing the car to slide in the other direction. If this happens (called overcorrecting), you’ll need to turn in the opposite direction.
- Icy road accidents happen in multiples: Your own accident is sometimes not the greatest threat to you – additional out-of-control vehicles often are.
- Avoid hills or other dangerous roads during icy conditions: The laws of physics are unforgiving! If you attempt to tackle a steep enough incline, there is nothing you can do to stop gravity from taking its toll.
- Keep a bundle of cold-weather gear in your car, such as extra food and water, warm clothing, a flashlight, a glass scraper, blankets, medications, and more.
- Make certain your tires are properly inflated and have plenty of tread.
- Keep at least half a tank of fuel in your vehicle at all times.
- Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
To find current road conditons, visit: http://conditions.drivetexas.org/current/