|Topic: Watching for Ice and Frost|
frost are two of the worst winter driving hazards you can encounter in
your sport utility vehicle and they are often invisible enemies. There
are some common signs however, that will aid you in detecting these
deadly weather conditions.
The most obvious signs that there is trouble ahead are "signs" along the roadway. Elevation markers give you clues if you know at what elevation freezing occurs in the area where you are driving. Other warning signs like the one shown in the upper right of the top photograph are usually installed in areas where known ice and frost conditions occur. But there may be no signage along the highway to warn you of impending danger.
Look for frost or ice that you can see. The SUV in the second photograph shows iced up windows from being parked outside all night. You can bet the roads are going to by icy too.
Watch out for the common places where ice forms. The third photograph shows ice on the road (tip of red arrow. This curve is in the shade and you can see the snow on the hillside is not melted from the afternoon sun. This is an ideal place for ice on the roadway to live. Ice will form and not melt during cold winter days in shady areas, on bridges, and just about everywhere else if it has been raining or snowing and then the weather turns very cold.
Black ice is almost undetectable. Watch for the subtle sheen on the roadway (bottom two photographs).
If you encounter ice or frost on the highway and start to skid, steering and braking are going to be difficult. You SUV will want to go straight ahead no matter what you do. Try your best to steer straight ahead to keep control of your SUV and let your engine and transmission slow you down. If you are headed for an obstacle then you will just have to do the best you can under the circumstances to avoid it.
WARNING 1: Driving on ice, even with 4 wheel drive, is the most dangerous driving situation you can encounter on the highway. If you start to skid, 4 wheel drive will not even help you much. You must avoid skidding at all costs. The only way to do this is to proceed very slowly so that you can maintain control of your vehicle should you begin to feel the effects of ice on your SUV
WARNING 2: If you begin a skid on ice, snow, or frost, and skid sideways from icy pavement to dry pavement, the chances for a serious fatal roll over accident in your SUV are extremely high. This is due to the fact that your tires will suddenly grab on the dry pavement and flip you over. You must avoid a skid in these conditions by keeping your speed down to a crawl if you have to.
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