How to Drive Safely on an Icy Hill
The USDOT Federal Highway Administration data shows an average of 536,731 icy road accidents every year. Out of these accidents, about 1,836 people die and 136,309 more are injured. NOAA records accident fatalities for a range of weather-related accidents such as flood, wind and cold but not for icy roads. If they did, they would find that the average icy road fatality count is 3.6 times the total deaths from all other weather hazards combined (507 combined deaths over a 10-year average compared to 1,836 for ice alone). See chart at icyroadsafety.com.
While many motor vehicle accidents happen as a result of icy road conditions, it is up to drivers to adjust their driving behavior to keep themselves and other drivers and pedestrians safe on the road. For example, a driver may be ticketed for driving at the speed limit if it was too fast for current road conditions. If you or a loved one was injured because a driver made negligent driving choices on icy roads, speak to a car accident attorney about your accident claim before settling.
How to Drive Safely on an Icy Hill
Tips for driving down an icy hill
Icy hills are dangerous, especially when driving downhill. Gravity wants to speed the car up but hitting the brakes too hard can make the car swerve dangerously.
Follow these tips from menshealth.com for the safest possible drive down an icy hill:
- Slow down. Yes, you should drive below the speed limit when driving down an icy hill. Allow extra space between vehicles and extra time to brake. Apply the brakes gently to avoid your wheels locking up.
- Do not brake or accelerate and turn at the same time. Doing two actions at once while driving on an icy road is a recipe for slipping. Be mindful of each maneuver you need to make and do them separately for the best chance of keeping your tires gripped to the road.
- Learn how to regain control. If your rear tires slide while driving on an icy hill, avoid pressing your foot on the brakes. Instead, you should gently steer and accelerate into the direction you want to go.
- Be extra aware. Keep two hands on the steering wheel and avoid distractions like cell phones and the radio. Look out for traffic jams, debris on the road or accidents up ahead. If you see an obstacle coming up, allow plenty of time to brake.
Tips for driving up an icy hill
While sliding down a hill is nobody’s idea of a good time, driving up an icy hill can be equally stressful. Here are two important tips for getting up an icy hill safely:
- Don’t attempt to power up a hill. Pressing hard on the accelerator pedal can make your tires spin on an icy hill. Instead, come at the hill with a “running start” and let the momentum help get your vehicle to the top.
- Don’t stop. Don’t stop moving while part way up an icy hill or you may have trouble getting going again.
- Transition over the crest. As you get to the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and begin your downhill descent slowly.
Seek the help of a car accident attorney
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!