Insurance and Finance

Handle Icy Roads Like a Northerner

By Georgia Fisher 12.15.15

Believe it or not, we Texans aren’t known for our icy-road driving chops. Staying safe through inclement weather is possible, however — just follow this round up of our best bits of winter driving advice.

  • For starters, you’ll have to slow down. The Texas Department of Transportation recommends tripling your normal following distance when driving on snow or ice.
  • Know how to spot black ice  — or at least anticipate it — and keep a cool head when you encounter this common roadway hazard. Don’t brake or hit the gas, and if the tail end of your vehicle moves to one side, steer in that direction.
  • Avoid using your parking brake during inclement weather, if possible, and never try cruise control on slick roads.
  • Don’t let typical driving hazards catch you unaware.
  • Always keep one or two heavy blankets stowed in your car. (Yes, this is your mother speaking. And yes, she’s right.) They’ll help in the event you’re stranded, need to fix a flat, or make other repairs.
  • Be especially careful when approaching bridges, ramps, and any spots not exposed to direct sunlight. They’ll freeze first.
  • Learn to safely deice your windshield and beware of shortcuts that seem worthy of an infomercial. Your best bets are pretty old-fashioned.
  • This one’s aesthetic, but worth your while: Use a paint sealant to protect your car’s exterior from road salt. As much as it helps clear icy motorways, salt can also permanently harm a good paint job.

Keep your car safe from thieves this holiday season with these tips for mall-proofing your vehicle.