Although San Antonio, Texas is not noted for bone-chilling cold winters, the temperatures can drop to near or below freezing. Because there is both hot weather and cold weather in the Texas city, heating and cooling San Antonio TX equipment is necessary to ensure comfort during every season.
When the weather turns cold, roads and sidewalks can be coated with a layer of ice. When rain or sleet falls from winter skies, the roads can become a hazardous surface for those who are walking, as well as for motorists. The following tips can aid in improving safety while driving on icy roads.
Advance planning before cold weather hits is the first step in preparation. Ice on the surfaces of roads and walkways can cause many different types of accidents. Planning for some of these events may help to mitigate the severity of an incident. Carrying blankets, water, snacks, flares, a shovel, flashlight and phone charger will reduce some of the risks. A survival/emergency kit can make the difference between relative comfort and a disaster. Carrying a bag of cat litter or sand may help a driver get out of a sticky situation.
Another aspect of preparation is winterization of the vehicle. All fluid levels should be checked and topped off as needed. Components such as wiper blades, battery charge and tire pressure are also important for winterizing the vehicle. Snow tires can increase the traction on snowy roads. Understanding the type of tires which are best suited to winter roads can be done by checking with the auto shop or tire dealer.
Where most of the driving is to be done will affect the type of preparation. Driving on rural highways requires different skills than traveling city streets. A formal course on driving in winter conditions is an investment in safety. Here are a few of the tips which will make winter driving safer and more effective.
Hills are a problem when the roads are slick. When there is a hill or inclined stretch ahead, the time to accelerate (slowly and smoothly) is before the beginning of the slope. The driver should gain the momentum necessary to carry the vehicle up to the crest of the hill. Sudden acceleration is likely to cause the wheels to spin out. When the hill is crested, the speed should be lowered. The descent of the hill should be done at a reduced pace.
Both braking and acceleration should be done at a slower rate than would be the norm when the roads are dry. The slower pace allows tires time to gain traction and avoid skidding. The allowed distance to reduce speed on icy roads should be significantly longer than on dry roads.
Black ice is a highly dangerous condition which affects road safety during an ice event. Black ice is the name given to a condition where a thin coat of clear ice covers portions of pavement. It is difficult to see. Drivers who find themselves in a skid due to ice should avoid hitting the brakes and should steer in the direction which you hope to travel.