How to drive on icy roads; video shows why they’re so dangerous

Traffic

CEDAR PARK, Texas (KXAN) — The truck first weaves back and forth, its back wheels having trouble finding purchase on the 183A toll road. Then, it twists, spinning a full 360° and nearly colliding with another car as it’s turned the wrong way.

KXAN viewer Lito Canlas caught the scary moment as it happened near the New Hope Drive exit around 9:15 a.m. Thursday. Leander police shut down the toll road around 10 a.m. because of icy conditions there. It reopened around 10:37 a.m. after the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority treated the roadway.

“We are begging folks to drive to the conditions or not to drive at all,” police tweeted.

How to drive in icy or snowy conditions

If you can, stay home, according to AAA. The key to driving in icy or snowy conditions is to go slowly, because your tires have less traction on the roads. That means both speed wise and how you drive. Instead of punching the accelerator or slamming the breaks, do both slowly. Anticipate areas where you may have to slow down (like at a stoplight) and do so gradually if you can.

Another key is to keep a greater distance between you and other cars, so you have time to react if there’s an issue. The Texas Department of Transportation suggests you increase the distance between you and other cars by three times what you normally do on snow and ice.

When it comes to hills, AAA says don’t try to power up them. Instead, try to get up to speed ahead of the hill and use that to help you get up it. “As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill slowly,” it advises. You also should do your best to not stop on a hill, because it can be hard to get going.

If you start to skid, don’t make any sudden movements. Instead, ease off the gas pedal or breaks. Steer into the direction you’re skidding until you regain traction on the roads, then slowly straighten your vehicle.

You also need to use extra caution on bridges, ramps and overpasses because they tend to freeze first, TxDOT says.

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