AMES, Iowa – Feb. 13, 2012 – Drivers in Iowa will get another chance to perfect their winter driving skills today. According to the National Weather Service, widespread snow accumulation of one to three inches is expected across Iowa today. Some freezing drizzle will be possible over the south this afternoon. The snow will end by late tonight.
With the relatively mild temperatures and mixed precipitation, the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is suggesting the following tips for driving on icy roadways.
- If your vehicle begins to slide, take your foot off the gas pedal and shift into neutral, or if you have a manual transmission, depress the clutch. While it may be a natural instinct to slam on your brakes, this may cause your vehicle to slide further and result in loss of vehicle control. Tap the brake pedal lightly.
- If you have an idea that there may be ice ahead (if you see vehicles ahead of you sliding, for example), downshift to a lower gear before you come onto the ice. The lower gear will force you to drive more slowly and give you better control of your vehicle.
- If your vehicle does begin to skid on the ice, turn the wheel in the direction of the skid. This should help to steer your vehicle back on the right track.
- Stay well behind the vehicle in front of you – this is definitely not the time to tailgate. Even if you feel confident that you know how to drive safely on ice, that does not mean the driver in front of you does. Be prepared in case other vehicles start to slide.
- Do not think you are invincible just because you drive a four-wheel drive truck or sports utility vehicle. Four-wheel drive vehicles have no advantage over other vehicles when it comes to driving on ice.
- Make sure you and your passengers are wearing their seat belts or other safety restraints.
The Iowa DOT recommends travelers carefully monitor weather and road conditions.