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Message Monday - Cruise control on black ice is not Iowa nice

02/22/2021

2-22 black iceBy this time of year, most of us are used to driving in winter weather conditions. But we need to keep our guard up for a roadway danger that is unpredictable and difficult to respond to – black ice.

Also known as clear ice, this unexpected and often hard-to-see thin layer of transparent ice on the road can cause your vehicle to skid and you to lose control. Here are some tips for driving on Iowa’s wintry roads:

  1. Buckle up. This one should go without saying but wearing a seat belt is the easiest way to protect yourself if you should hit a patch of ice and end up in a crash.
  2. Slow down. Traveling on icy roads isn’t really the issue, stopping is.
  3. Allow more space than normal between vehicles. In combination with slowing down, if you allow more space between vehicles, you reduce the chances of a crash should you need to stop or begin to lose control on an icy road.
  4. Don’t use cruise control. If you catch a patch of ice with your cruise control on, your vehicle may slide unexpectedly.

If you are traveling and see a crash ahead of you, try touching your brakes. If you start to slide, take your foot off the pedals and try to guide your vehicle to the safest part of the road, which might mean going into the ditch.

If you end up in the ditch or in the middle of a crash, stay in your vehicle and call 911 for assistance.

Here’s a reminder from AAA about winter driving safety - https://youtu.be/m5LkTkW3TDY

For 2020, there were a total of 338 fatalities reported. So far in 2021, there have been 24 deaths in traffic crashes. That is an increase of one since last Monday. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at https://www.iowadot.gov/mvd/stats/daily.pdf


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Iowa highway in the evening