Black ice and auto accidents often go hand in hand this time of the year. The unfortunate reality is that Greenville only experiences icy conditions once or twice a year. Why do I consider this “unfortunate”? Black ice occurs so infrequently that we don’t remember what to do when the roads become dangerous. Of course, the best defense against auto accidents in winter weather is to simply avoid driving. Greenville has a reputation of rolling up the sidewalks when even a hint of sleet or snow is in the forecast. This is perhaps a caricature of the south (along with empty bread and milk shelves at the grocery store), but the reality is that auto accidents don’t happen if you and your car stay at home.
If you do get into an accident after taking all precautions, my job as your chiropractor Greenville SC is to make sure that your injuries are taken care of.
If you experience neck pain, headaches or lower back pain after an automobile accident, don’t hesitate to contact our office. I have over 30 years of experience helping people quickly get over their injuries. Contact our Greenville chiropractic office at 864-292-6777.
Icy Roads and Black Ice.
Icy roads can cause you to lose tire traction even more so than when driving a car in the rain, making icy roads one of the top causes of auto accidents.
Driving Safely On Black Ice To Prevent Auto Accidents
You can’t always prevent crashes on black ice or snow because a vehicle might totally lose control, but there are ways you can be prepared.
When it comes to icy roads, it’s important to know how slippery the surfaces are. The best way is to check the weather forecast for the entire route you are driving to learn if the forecast calls for any unusual conditions. Be sure to properly maintain your vehicle’s tires and visibility (headlights). If you are on a slippery road surface, cannot see, and your tires are giving out, then you can imagine the consequences.
Modern automotive technology can help, but it cannot solve all the problems of icy roads. A few important features that you should know about when it comes to your car and icy roads are the modern “anti-lock brake system” (ABS) and vehicles which are “all-wheel drive” (AWD). Both of these innovations have greatly reduced the frequency and severity of auto accidents.
When you put your foot on the brake and hold it there, the ABS begins to work — you will feel pulses in the brake pedal. On icy roads, ease up slightly on the pedal until the pulsing happens only once a second. If your vehicle does not have ABS, you’ll have to rely on the old-fashioned system to avoid auto accidents: you.
For non-ABS cars on a mixed-surface road, push the brake pedal hard until the wheels stop rolling, then immediately release the brake enough to allow the wheels to begin turning again. Repeat this sequence rapidly. This is not the same as “pumping the brake.” Your goal is to have the tires producing maximum grip regardless of whether the surface is snow, ice or damp pavement.
All-wheel drive (AWD) and electronic stability control can offer you a false sense of security. AWD can only help a vehicle accelerate or keep moving, but it can not help you go around a snow-covered turn, much less stop at an icy intersection.
How to Avoid Auto Accidents On Icy Roads
- Check your tires. To have adequate snow traction, a tire requires at least 6/32-inch deep tread and most passenger-car tires manufactured today usually have 10/32-inch of tread. High performance summer tires have little or no grip in snow. Even all-season tires don’t necessarily offer the best snow traction, but in the south, most cars arrive with either summer or all-season tires.
- Make sure you can see. Be sure to maintain functionality of your windshield wiper blades (replace them if they chatter or streak) and clean the inside of your windows thoroughly. Make sure your windshield washer system works and is full of an anti-icing fluid by draining older fluid (simply running the washers until new fluid appears). Switching fluid colors makes this easy.
- Run the air-conditioner. In order to remove condensation and frost from the interior of windows, engage your air-conditioner. It is fine to set the temperature on hot, which many vehicles automatically do when you choose the defrost setting.
- Check your lights. You should first make sure your headlights and taillights are clear of snow. Use your headlights so that others will see you and if you have a car with clouded plastic headlight lenses, get a new set of lenses.
- Test your brakes. Learn how to get maximum efficiency from your brakes before an emergency. It is easy to properly use anti lock brakes: stomp, stay and steer. Stomp on the pedal as if you were trying to snap it off, stay hard on the pedal, and steer around the obstacle. A little bit of steering goes a very long way in an emergency.
- Watch out carefully for “black ice.” If the road looks slick, it probably is. This is especially true with one of winter’s worst hazards: black ice. Black ice is nearly transparent ice that often looks like a harmless puddle of water.
- Too much steering is bad. If a slick section in a turn causes your front tires to lose grip, the common but incorrect reaction is to continue turning the steering wheel. If the icy conditions end and the front tires regain grip, your car will dart whichever way the wheels are pointed.
- Avoid rear-tire slides. First, choose a car with electronic stability control (ESC). Fortunately, ESC is mandatory on all 2012 and newer models. Many older cars have ESC as well, check your owners manual to find out if your vehicle came equipped. Next, make sure your rear tires have at least as much tread as your front tires. Always remember, if you buy winter tires, do it for all four wheels.
But with all this serious talk behind us now, click through the following link to see what you CAN DO on icy roads when there aren’t any cars around (turn up the volume)!
Fun on Paris Mountain (featuring Cleve Blackwell)
Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo
Eastside Chiropractic PA (Chiropractor in Greenville SC)
3014 Wade Hampton Blvd., Taylors SC 29687