How to drive safely on icy roads

Take extra care when driving in icy conditions.

Black ice is the greatest danger faced by motorists in winter. Anyone who has had the misfortune to lose control of their vehicle on an icy road knows what it feels like to sit in a car with no steering and no brakes, powerless to prevent themselves skidding into a ditch or colliding with an obstacle. To help you negotiate this icy season and stay safe on the roads, has put together the following 5 tips.

Tip 1: Go easy on the accelerator

Any sudden acceleration or deceleration can cause the car to lose traction and send it into a skid. You should therefore use the accelerator very carefully on icy roads.

Tip 2: Don't turn the steering wheel and accelerate at the same time

Simultaneously turning and accelerating can cause a car to skid. If at all possible, try to execute the two actions separately. 

Tip 3: When driving in a straight line, brake hard

The anti-lock braking system (ABS) is modern miracle when it comes to skidding. To gain full benefit of the system, you should press down on the brakes as hard as possible when driving in a straight line. This activates the ABS, helping the vehicle to retain traction and steering ability.

Tip 4: If your car goes into a skid, release the clutch and steer gently out of it

It’s easy to panic when you lose control of your car and it starts to skid. But this is precisely the time to stay cool. Instead of steering frantically, keep a steady hand on the wheel and there's a chance you can rescue the situation.

Tip 5: Keep brakes free of road salt

If salt gets lodged between the brake disc and the brake pad, this will adversely affect the braking action. So if you are driving on salted roads, you should keep braking gently to help release any deposits that may have accumulated.

Remember that even if you follow these tips and are extremely cautious, accidents can still happen on slippery roads. It is therefore worth having good, low-cost insurance in place.