When the spring thaw finally hits Manitoba after a long and cold winter, the roads are slick, slippery and downright dangerous for motorists. A mixture of wet conditions from melting ice and poor visibility calls for extra precaution when driving on slippery roads. Slowing down and knowing how to brake in icy conditions will not only prevent a collision, but also get you to your destination safely.
Since it takes longer to stop on ice-covered roads, slow down and leave extra distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Increase your following distance by five to six seconds to give yourself enough time to stop and prevent a collision.
Breaking too hard can cause your tires to spin. Avoid skidding by braking lightly and avoid using cruise control – it reduces reaction time and vehicle control.
The melting ice and snow, although a sign of warmer weather, can cause water to build up in the curb lanes. Avoid driving through puddles as much as possible, since brakes can lose some of their stopping power as a result. Take the time to pump your brakes a few times to dry them if driving through water is unavoidable.
When it comes to driving in icy conditions, it’s not a race. Take your time, slow down and give yourself extra time to get to your destination. To prepare for spring driving (and braking), see Manitoba Public Insurance or AAA.