Tips for Driving on Icy Roads
RICHLAND, Wash. - People who haven't driven on icy roads in while got an abrupt reminder Tuesday. There were nearly 200 crashes on slippery Tri-City streets. With temperatures too cold to melt the ice, we might have another night of slipping and sliding.
When you're on the road and you hit a patch of ice sometimes you only have a split second to decide how to avoid sliding into other cars. Do you brake first? Do you turn? Sometimes we pick the wrong thing to do. People trained in snowy weather gave us a couple tips and we want to pass them on to you.
When driving turns into a game of pinball, you know the roads are slick. Driving on icy roads is tough. But there is a lot you can do to avoid an accident.
Wednesday KNDU took a drive with Captain Mike Cobb from the Richland Police Department. He's got 25 years of icy road training, and claims people just don't know when to slow down.
"That's the biggest mistake I see people make is they just don't slow down soon enough," said Cobb.
But the question is when do you slow down?
If you try to brake and turn at the same time you end up fish tailing. So try this instead - straighten your wheels, hit the brakes, take you're foot off the pedal, and then turn.
We did that with the same car, the same course and we got a much different result.
Brakes are good, you've just got to hit them at the right time.
"Once your wheels stop turning you've lost your ability to, in the large part, to steer," said Cobb.
But even if you've got the technique down sometimes there's still nothing you can do.
On our ride we tried to stop before we slid into a intersection, but we barely missed getting hit by semi-truck who failed to stop at stop sign. That prompted another good tip, Watch out for everybody else.
"If we had not have been watching out for the other guy we would've been hit by that semi," Cobb said.
Cobb adds sometimes you just shouldn't be on the road at all.