With expected winter storms in the area this weekend, road safety is a must for travelers. The following are tips from The Weather Channel's website about driving on ice and in snow.
Don't go out until the sanding trucks have had a chance to do their work and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination. The average speed of traffic can decrease between 2%-13% due to icy conditions. Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you. Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake. Keep your lights and windshields clean. Don't use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads. Be aware of bridges freezing over before other roads. Don't assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads. Watch carefully for black ice. Black ice is nearly transparent ice that often looks like a harmless puddle or is overlooked entirely. Too much steering is a bad thing. If you hit a slick section and it causes your tires to lose grip, the common–but incorrect–reaction is to keep turning the wheel. If the icy conditions end and the front tires regain grip, your car will dart in the direction the wheels are pointed which could be oncoming traffic. Unfortunately, there are situations where a crash cannot be avoided, but steering too much will not help.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration there are approximately 190,100 vehicle accidents due to icy roads every year and an average of 680 fatalities.