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Snow and Ice Safety Tips

Prepared by Scotty Scales. High School Intern from Heritage Christian.

Safe Driving on Snow and Ice

  1. Do not use cruise control on any wet, icy, or snowy road
  2. Have properly inflated tires and never mix radial tires with other tire types
  3. Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up
  4. Be aware that bridges ice over faster and easier than roads do
  5. Do not accelerate up hills-this only causes tire spinouts
  6. Accelerate, decelerate, and make turns slowly in order to avoid skids and maintain traction
  7. Increase your following distance behind vehicles to 8-10 seconds to allow slower deceleration

Pedestrians Walking on Ice

  1. Take sidewalks whenever possible and avoid using roads
  2. Be aware that ice can be hiding underneath the snow on the ground
  3. When walking on ice, bend your knees and take shorter more deliberate steps to avoid slipping and falling
  4. Steps can build up ice easily-use caution as well as handrails to gain added stability
  5. Be aware of overhead ice hazards such as falling icicles and chunks of ice-avoid walking under the edges of buildings

Ice on Bodies of Water

  1. Lake ice can bear more weight than river ice
  2. Clear black ice can bear twice the weight that the same thickness of white ice can hold
  3. Always test ice thickness using a ski pole, ice pick, or chisel before you step on the ice ahead of you
  4. Always carry ice chisels with you in case you fall in through the ice-use them to pull yourself out of the hole
  5. Three inches of black ice or six inches of white ice is the very minimum amount of thickness for a single person to walk on
  6. The safest approach to frozen ponds and lakes is to stay off them.


  1. More than 166,000 Americans are injured and over 1,300 are killed on snowy, slushy, or icy pavement every winter
  2. Freezing rain is the deadliest weather hazard in America. The mid-west receives more freezing rain per year than any other part of the U.S.
  3. 23% of the crashes from 2002-2012 were caused by severe weather
  4. Heavy snow can slow down vehicles on the highway by up to 40%


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