What are some myths about icy roads?

There are several myths to clear up regarding the dangers of icy roads. For instance, did you know that it's not necessarily carelessness that leads to ice-related crashes? Yes, some are, but data has shown that people driving at normal speeds may lose control of their vehicles when they hit ice. It's the drivers who have no warning of ice who tend to cause crashes.

Another thing you should know is that no matter how much training you have, no one is perfectly prepared for winter driving. Yes, some people understand better ways to handle their vehicles if they lose control or need to slow down quickly, but a person's driving abilities are just one factor in a crash.

One more myth that could cause crashes is that four-wheel drive and traction control make crashing unlikely. The facts don't bear this out. In fact, these pieces of technology do help, but they also give people a false sense of safety. The only true way to avoid a collision is to slow down, to follow at a safe distance or just to stay off the roads completely.

Finally, while winter storms are the most obvious time when crashes are imminent, they're not always the most dangerous times for ice or snow on the roads. Ice isn't limited to snowstorms. If there's sleet before temperatures drop to freezing or even if there's just a slight snow melt with freezing temperatures, ice could coat the roads and make them dangerous for everyone.

If you're hit by someone who isn't paying attention or who is driving dangerously, know your rights. Winter doesn't have to be dangerous if drivers slow down and act cautiously.

Source: Icy Road Safety, "The Top 7 Icy Road Myths," Dan Robinson, accessed Jan. 18, 2018

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