The Art of Driving and Braking In Ice

This week’s weather had us thinking about the importance of driving safely and the dangerous act of braking on the ice.   We remind you that winter driving is not only about battling the snow, it’s also about the dangerous threat of “black ice.”  Driving in icy conditions is an important skill to learn and refresh with the annual changes in the seasons. 

Before you start driving it’s important that you warm your vehicle up and allow extra time to sufficiently clean away any snow.  Don’t forget to clean the snow away from your lights. Visibility is critical to safe driving regardless of road conditions.  Completely defrost your vehicle before you start driving and start off slow.   Also, do your research.  Are the roads icy?  Or will they become icy closer towards your destination?

Once you hit the road be sure to allow extra room between you and other vehicles.  It is crucial that you brake slowly as you cannot really tell where the black ice is on the road.  If you brake too hard you could easily slide into other vehicles or off the road.  Some drivers become distracted and have no choice to slam on their brakes sometimes.   It is also vital to accelerate with ease to avoid sliding. Always be aware of those on the road around you.

Even if you follow our directions there is still a chance that you can skid and slide on the road.  Here’s what we recommend doing to bring your vehicle back under control:

  • Remove your foot from the accelerator
  • Release your brakes
  • If you have to use your brake, pump them
    • If you have anti-lock brakes apply steady pressure to the brakes, no need to pump
  • Turn into the slide/skid
  • Alert other drivers by turning on your hazard lights
  • Stay Calm! Panicking does not help

Above all else, remember it is dangerous to wait too long to change your brake pads.  When they are worn down that reduces your ability to stop.   If your brakes are starting to make noise, take them to your shop right away.  It’s also important to inspect your brake lines for cracks and holes.    Having good quality parts is vital to your safety. Ryder Fleet Products offers a variety of brake pads for your truck. Find the best pads for your vehicle by browsing the selection here.

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