Driving, colliding on ice: Don't be that guy

1:33 AM, Jan 25, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Chances are, when the freezing rain falls early Friday morning in north Georgia, there will be at least one driver, somewhere, who will lose control on the ice and collide into something.

No one thinks they'll be that person.

You don't have to be.

Georgia DOT salt and sand truck crews have already treated the potential problems, such as Spaghetti Junction in DeKalb County, to try to minimize ice formation when the precipitation arrives.

And the crews were told to report to work at 4:00 am Friday to get ahead of the icing.

Ultimately drivers themselves are responsible for their own safety on the ice.

And the icing Friday morning was not expected to be widespread or long-lasting.

But there will be ice. And where there is ice, that ice patch will be dangerous.

No one can drive on ice. People from Alaska can't drive on ice. The best, most experienced truckers can't drive on ice.

You crawl, at best.

If drivers would only use common sense when ice patches are out there:

Stay way back from the drivers in front of you.

Remember how treacherous freezing rain is -- the rain may not freeze on the road you're on, but iin seconds it can freeze on your tires and you'll lose traction just the same.

If you normally leave for work at 7:00 am, leave at 6:00 am, allow yourself plenty of time to get there.

On hills, switch to a lower gear for more control of your vehicle.

Do not pass the salt and sand trucks when you pull up to them on the roadways. The truck drivers won't see you, and the road will be worse in front of the trucks.

Know your vehicle's limitations -- just because you have all-wheel-drive and electronic stability control, that does not mean you will have better traction on ice, that does not mean you can stop a dime on the ice.

Here's another tip -- if you have a steep and curvy driveway you may already know this one: spreading kitty litter works just liked those big bags of salt on those slick inclines, for better traction.

The best news is that the ice is going to melt and evaporate during the day, so the afternoon and evening commute should be just your normal Friday mess, without any ice.

Georgia DOT is asking drivers to check road conditions before they leave home Friday morning by calling 511, or by going to to www.511ga.org.

Do you have more tips about driving in icy conditions?  Let everyone see them, add them to the comments section of this web story.

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