A few tips for driving on slippery roads

Slippery roads are a result of both on ice and on a wet road, especially at the beginning of rain, when grease from water and dust forms on the roadway, and on the road wet with fog, and a surface with spots of molten tar, and on a wet wooden bridge deck, and damp leaves caught on the road. On the grass, especially when wet, the car skids as if on ice. You can meet on some roads during one day, depending on the terrain profile and season, possible complications, and several times.

A passable dry road becomes wet or slippery in the lowlands, icy on a hillock, covered with wet leaves near a forest, slippery on a wooden bridge, not to mention rain or snow. The white plastic used for road markings is very slippery when it rains, and the car can skid on it.

Here are a few tips:

  • If you need to manoeuvre on such markings, slow down. Drive a short wet section without changing the driving mode. On a slippery road, the tyres’ adhesion to the road is significantly reduced, the braking distance increases, and there is a danger of blocking the wheels and skidding. High speeds are unacceptable; one must increase the distance at least twice.
  • Check if all wheels start braking at the same time. Evaluate the stopping distance and skid resistance of the vehicle. Test the degree of slipperiness with a sharp “gas” braking or a sharp turn of the steering wheel. If the car obeys, the grip is satisfactory. If it doesn’t respond to the steering wheel, it slips when the gas is suddenly applied, or it skips when braking – the road is dangerous, and you will have to “turn on” maximum caution.
  • Start off on the ice smoothly from second or even third gear, as the first gears tend to skid. The same applies to starting off on the road covered with wet clay, compacted snow or mud. In icy conditions, the grip of the car’s wheels with the road decreases sharply, and the braking distance can increase compared to a dry surface by more than eight times at the same speed.
  • While driving, avoid sudden movements when taxiing, engaging the clutch, shifting gears, accelerating, turning and braking. Even a slight harshness can lead to a skid, and the car will be carried towards other vehicles, into the oncoming lane or onto the sidewalk. Braking while turning the steering wheel is not permitted.
  • Non-rotating wheels will not change the direction of movement of the car, but after stopping braking, it will sharply head towards the inverted wheels. Skidding movements are always unexpected. The seemingly incomprehensible drifts of the vehicle on a slippery road are understandable – grooves of ice or pebbles that have fallen under the wheel lead the car to the side. Do not immediately adjust the steering direction. Please wait for the impact of the push to end, and the vehicle will return to its original order.
  • The icy areas cause distrust of the car, a feeling of fear. When all wheels are locked and sliding, you cannot get the car out of a skid by turning the steering wheel – changing the position of the non-rotating front wheels cannot change the trajectory.
  • It is necessary to change the method of braking. The power steering reduces the physical stress on the hands but does not make it possible to feel the resistance of the road, which is very important in icy conditions.
  • If the ice is moderate, the pressure may be around unity. When driving, periodically check the degree of “slipperiness” – slightly slow down and immediately feel how the car reacts. If the revs increase with a sharp increase in “gas”, but the speed does not increase, the ice is strong and dangerous.
  • On slippery roads, use engine braking, impulse braking, or a combination of both. Press and release the brake pedal with sharp, short impulses 2-3 times. Brief contact of brake pads with discs or drums slows down the wheels but does not block them.

Bonus Tip: Even new tyres with the correct tread pattern cannot provide good grip on slippery surfaces and should not be relied upon. Make sure to equip your truck with commercial light truck tyres corresponding to your vehicles make and model.

Check tyre pressure and tread wear before driving on ice. The air pressure should be correct, and the tread pattern should have the same wear on all tyres.