With the first measurable snowfall of the 2018 winter, Kansas City drivers encountered a mess on area roadways. In fact, according to news reports, the storm contributed to 86 accidents that resulted in 10 serious injuries and two fatalities.
While the dog days of summer may seem to stretch on forever, winter is just around the corner. According to the 2020 Old Farmer’s Almanac, the areas first hard frost should occur on or about October 28, 2020. With icy roads not far behind, you must remember how to drive when temperatures plummet. Here are some tips:
1. Reduce your speed
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to avoid a serious accident during inclement weather is to reduce your speed. Often, speed limits that work well on dry pavement become hazardous when roads are wet or frozen. To ensure you do not drive too quickly for conditions, give yourself a few extra minutes to reach your destination.
2. Accelerate and stop slowly
Icy roads cause your vehicle to behave differently than it would otherwise. Accelerating or decelerating too rapidly may cause your car to spin out or fishtail. Therefore, allow extra time to stop at signals and in traffic. Also, take a measured approach to acceleration.
3. Allow additional space
Naturally, it takes longer to slow down and stop on icy roads. If you do not want to find yourself in the middle of a rear-end collision, allow some additional space between your car and the ones in front of it. Remember, while it usually makes sense, the three-second rule may not give you sufficient stopping time.
4. Stay home
Fortunately, western Missouri does not have too many blizzards in any given season. If you can, work from home or put off errands on days with the worst weather conditions. If you must travel, pack a survival kit in your car in case you become stranded.
During the warm summer months, it can be easy to forget how to drive in inclement weather. Nevertheless, snow and ice are on their way. By refreshing your knowledge about driving on icy roads, you increase your odds of avoiding a serious accident.