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Car Driving in Snow

How to Know if Winter Roads are Safe to Travel

Driving in the ice and snow can be dangerous, or even potentially life-threatening. When it comes to navigating in wintry conditions, it’s important that you keep your wits about you and come armed with the right knowledge.

After all, it’s life or death out there, so you need to be prepared.

Is it Safe to Drive on a Freshly Plowed Road?

While a freshly plowed road is safer to drive on than a snow-covered one, that doesn’t mean you should speed off like you’re driving in clear conditions. Even after a snowplow clears the bulk of the snow and salts the road, there could still be thin layers of ice under loosely-packed snow.

As such, make sure you stay vigilant even when you’re driving on roads that have been recently plowed. It’s better to stay safe than sorry.

Freezing Rain Poses a Serious Threat

Of all precipitation you should avoid driving in, freezing rain takes the prize for most dangerous. This is because it can freeze and stick to roadways quickly, developing hard-to-detect black ice patches. This, in turn, makes navigation a nightmare. How can you drive effectively if you can’t see the dangerous patches?

Similarly, it’s nearly impossible to see out of your windshield if there’s a layer of ice on it you can’t clear. Freezing rain is exceptionally good at covering your windshield in a thin layer of freezing-cold water that can harden into a layer of ice in no time. As such, try to avoid driving in freezing rain if at all possible.

Are Roads Safe After a Light Snow?

Light snow can be more dangerous to drive in than you think. Thin, powdery snow is less likely to stick to the asphalt of the road, and can quickly melt into slippery slush. Additionally, due to the assumption that less snow means that roads are safer, people often drive the exact same in light snow as they would in otherwise clear conditions.

This means that light snow often sees an uptick in traffic accidents not seen during heavy snowfall. This means you need to treat even light snowfall with the same caution and respect you treat heavy snowfall.

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