For many people in Texas, December and January means a road trip to visit
distant relatives, or a fun holiday vacation across the country with the
kids. If these are not exactly your plans this winter, you still need
to be aware of dangerous icy road conditions. Even down here in Houston,
snow and frigid morning temperatures are not entirely out of the question.
At HP Motorsports, our team of high performance auto tuning specialists
in Katy always want our customers, our friends, to be safe, first and
foremost. That is why we have compiled this helpful list of tips to remember
if you’re going to be hitting the highways in the coming cold weeks.
Speed reduction: It is generally considered unsafe to drive at any speed faster than 45
miles per hour if there is a chance that ice is on the roads. Do you see
snow beside the highway? You should slow down. Don’t worry if people
honk – your safety is more important than your schedule.
Total stops: If you can visibly see a coating of ice on the road, bring your vehicle
to a safe and complete stop. It is even better if you can pull off the
road and even off the shoulder, like into a parking lot or alleyway. Consider if you
really need to be driving at that time and delay until the ice melts, if possible.
Braking behavior: When people hit the ice, they usually panic and slam the brakes. That’s
no good! Most of the time, this will only lock up your wheels and increase
the chances of you careening out of control. Rather than a harsh slam,
try to gradually pump your brakes.
Controlled sliding: One of the worst case scenarios on an ice road is that you begin to slide
back-end first. Keep calm, release your brakes and the accelerator, and
turn into the slide. This means looking where you want to go and carefully
turning the steering wheel in that direction.
Level paths: What goes up must come down – you can’t get around this law
of physics. If your current path is taking you up or down a steep hill,
you should consider finding a less direct route that avoids major inclines
or declines. Gravity and ice are a nasty combination for drivers.
One More Major Hint for the Road
While careful control of your vehicle is key to safely navigating winter
roadways, you can boost your chances of avoiding collisions and accidents
by preparing your car for the journey as well. Let our specialists check
out your vehicle and see if there are any modifications we can make to
give you better balance, steering and braking capabilities, and more.
All of our
estimates are free so you’ve got nothing to lose. Call