How to avoid accidents on icy roads

Winter in Michiana can test a driver's ability to maneuver in snow and ice.

In 2012, nearly 47,000 accidents occurred in Indiana and Michigan, but with proper techniques, many accidents can be avoided.

Sliding on roads in Michiana during the winter months is almost inevitable. Snow packed roads with layers of ice underneath increases the chance of slide offs and accidents; especially given the winter season we have had thus far. The outlook does not look much better, either.

Ice on roadways, sometimes referred to as black ice, forms due to high humidity and low temperatures. It can also occur due to the continued packing of snow from cars driving over the same areas.

Just because you see tracks where traffic has traveled, it does not mean it reduces the risk of slick conditions.

Of all road surfaces, bridges pose the greatest risk. This occurs because cold air affects all sides of a bridge versus other roadways that have colder air only affecting the top of the road surface.

Regardless of the roadway on which you drive, there are ways you can avoid an accident or spin out if you hit a patch of ice. Woody Rodgers of Tire Rack gave me some potentially lifesaving advice, the first piece of advice being the most crucial.

There are also common myths to help you gain traction during slippery conditions, including putting weight in your trunk or using all wheel drive, but woody puts the brakes on those misconceptions and stops those ideas cold in their tracks.

Rodgers gave NewsCenter16’s David Harker the chance to test his skid correcting skills in a simulated and controlled environment, such as an ice rink. This ice rink is used to simulate conditions one may face in the winter.

It is best practice to steer into the skid if your car is sliding on ice. Once you have control of the slide, straighten the wheels so that you don't skid in the other direction.

A federal mandate in 2012 required newer vehicles to be equipped with electronic stability control, which can aid drivers if their vehicle is loses control.

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