How to Stay Safe on Michigan’s Icy Bridges
As we reach the tail end of winter, many people are ready for the warmer weather. Unfortunately, we often battle a few more wintery bursts before the spring thaw starts. With those wintery bursts, comes the increased risk of a winter-related car accident due to icy roadways and bridges.
The Unseen Threat of Icy Bridges
When preparing for a winter storm, most people consider the amount of snow expected and ignore the unseen threat: icy bridges and overpasses. Icy bridges and overpasses are considered some of the most dangerous roadways for several reasons.
- The Element of Surprise. It doesn’t take much ice to make driving over a bridge dangerous. When drivers aren’t aware of the risk ahead, they are unable to adjust their driving to match.
- Bridges Freeze Faster. Bridges and overpasses will freeze faster than regular roadways due to their elevated surfaces being exposed more to the wind and cold. A safe speed on the main road can be very different from a safe speed on a bridge.
- Bridges and Overpasses Stay Frozen Longer. The wind and elevated surfaces that make bridges freeze faster can also cause them to stay frozen longer. Unknowingly, drivers may not adjust their speeds because they think the risk of ice is over.
Tips for Maintaining Control of Your Car
While driving on icy roadways and bridges may be inevitable, losing control of your vehicle is not. There are some key ways to navigate the situation to prevent any loss of control.
- Be mindful of the possibility of ice and reduce your speed prior to driving onto a bridge or overpass.
- Stay calm when you do encounter icy conditions. Staying calm can help prevent you from overcompensating for the loss of control of your vehicle and avoid spinning out.
- Focus on coasting your car through the ice without steering, braking, or accelerating.
Getting to Safety
If you find yourself in an accident on an icy bridge, you’ll want to quickly assess the situation to ensure you’re keeping yourself safe. Getting to safety is especially important after an accident on an icy bridge or overpass, as a secondary collision may put you in harm’s way.
If your car is drivable: move away from the crash scene immediately and get to a safe place.
If your car is not drivable: quickly exit your vehicle and the roadway. If possible, get to a safe area away from speeding vehicles or other vehicles that may lose control.
The aftermath of an accident can be overwhelming. Once you’re safe, often the next looming thought is about fixing your vehicle. Having a trusted auto body shop can help ease some of that stress and ensure that while you can’t prepare for everything, you vehicle will be in good hands if an accident occurs.
For over 29 years, vehicle owners have trusted Pole Position Auto Body with their collision repairs. We have a proven track record of producing high quality repairs – almost 3 days quicker than the average repair facility.