Clemson Agricultural Safety

Winter Roadway Safety – December 2023

Winter Roadway Safety

An icy road in winter with a sign: Attention slippery!

With colder temperatures ahead of us this season, it is important to remember to be alert for snowy or icy roads. Icy roads can be very dangerous and affect your ability to keep control of your vehicle. Always remember to be on the lookout for wet areas that may have black ice that is not visible. Black ice is a thin layer of clear ice that may be difficult to see, especially during night. Icy spots are commonly found before and after bridges, in shady areas, and on/off ramps.

Things to remember when operating your vehicle in winter weather:

  • When behind another vehicle, reduce your speed and leave ample room between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. During winter weather, it takes longer to stop your vehicle, making it imperative that you level extra room.
  • When braking, gently press your brakes. Only apply full pressure to your brakes if you have anti-locking brakes (ABS). If you do not have ABS, gently pump the pedal to come to a stop.
  • Never assume that your vehicle can handle all winter weather conditions. Even if you have four-wheel drive, you still may encounter trouble while operating your vehicle in winter conditions.
  • If your vehicle begins to skid, remove your foot from the accelerator and steer in the direction that you are skidding. This will help you overcome the skid and regain control of your vehicle.
  • If you get stuck in snow, do not repeatedly spin your wheels. This will cause you to become more stuck. Instead, gently press the accelerator and ease out if possible. If you must be pulled out of the snow, never use a chain. The tension on the chain may cause it to snap and sling forward into the vehicle pulling you out. Instead, use a tow strap made of cloth.

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