Driving safely on icy roads is one thing. Stopping on those roads is another.
If Phil the groundhog was right, we’re going to see several more weeks of winter weather before spring’s warmer temperatures arrive. That’s certainly true for the coming week. Although the daytime temperatures will see some warning trends, Wichita will still be freezing overnight.
You know what that means. Frozen, icy streets on your morning commute.
“Even if you drive very safely when the roads are iced up, you can still get into trouble if you don’t know how to brake properly,” lifehacker.com says. “You might be thinking that braking is pretty straightforward: You press on the brake with your foot, the car slows down. Well, yes. But also: No, not necessarily, if the roads are icy.Icy, slick streets translate into dangerous driving. They also translate into dangerous stopping.”
The best way to stop on icy roads, according to lifehacker.com, depends on your car and the type of brakes it has: “Your braking technique on icy roads depends a lot on how old your car is. If it’s a 2013 model or newer, you almost certainly have ABS, and so pumping your brakes is the exact wrong thing to do—ABS automates the ‘pumping’ action for you. If you’re driving an older model car, check to see if it has ABS—the technology was widely available as far back as the 1980s, so it’s possible your car does have ABS.”
Lifehacker.com explains what to do in an older car: “The key step to remember when braking in wintry conditions is to not panic. Physics may betray you, but keeping your cool is the first step to reducing your risk. Here’s how to pump the brakes in an older car without ABS:
- “Don’t ‘slam’ on your brakes. Even if you see traffic coming up fast in front of you, slamming on your brakes is a surefire way to lock up your wheels and send your car into a skid or a spin.
- “Pump your brakes gently, then release, then pump again in a steady, moderate rhythm. If you feel the car starting to skid or slide, release the brakes, regain control, and try again.
- “Pumping your brakes allows you to retain control over the vehicle. While icy roads might cause you to slide anyway, as long as you don’t lock up you can still steer the car to avoid an impact or at least reduce the damage.
- “If you start to slide or ‘fishtail,’ release the brakes. Your instinct might be to double-down on stopping the car, but this will just enhance the slide.”
Equally important to technique when stopping is the condition of your brakes. If they’re in bad shape, then icy conditions are just going to make a bad situation worse. That’s why it’s important at all times of the year – but especially in winter – to make sure your brakes are in sold, working order.
The Wichita brake specialists at Tracy’s Automotive can help you with that.
Tracy’s Automotive is here to help you. If you don’t have time or feel you can take your car to the shop, Tracy’s Automotive will pick it up at your home or work. Then, after your car is serviced or repaired, Tracy’s Automotive will bring it back to you thoroughly cleaned.
Tracy’s passion for a better tire buying, auto care and auto repair experience drove us to develop the model of Tracy’s Automotive Tire Pros. Tracy’s has turned hard work and inspiration into a booming tire and auto repair provider. Now Tracy’s has three locations and serves customers all over Wichita and Goddard – Maple Street auto care and auto repair, E First Street N and W 21st Street N.. Tracy’s is thrilled to be a part of your family’s trusted brands for all auto repair and tire needs.
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