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Tips for driving on icy roads
How to drive when roads may be icy

Facing a possible combination Wednesday of icy roads and drivers unfamiliar with driving in icy conditions, here are some ways to increase your roadway safety:

• Stay home until roads clear if you do not have to be out.

• Be sure your headlights and windshield are free of ice before starting out.

• Be alert for road areas likely to be ice-covered, such as shaded areas and bridges. The undersides of bridges are exposed and not warmed by ground heat. Be alert for “black ice” that is not readily visible, because it is a thin coating on a blacktop road.

• Watch for tree limbs or utility lines that may have fallen under the weight of ice.

• Drive more slowly than normal and keep about three times the normal safe distance between yourself and a vehicle in front.

• Do not use cruise control.

• Do not be overly confident that your vehicle can handle an icy road, even with all-wheel or front-wheel drive and anti-lock brakes. Stay clear of other drivers who appear to be overly confident or inexperienced.

• To stop on ice, tap your brakes to avoid locking and spinning. Continue a pumping motion if you have standard brakes. Do not pump anti-lock brakes. Apply steady pressure, even as you feel the brakes pulse, which is normal.

• If your car slides, steer in the direction you want to go. Do not panic and overcorrect, which can compound a slide when traction returns.

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