Following Wednesday’s storm, Gov. Roy Cooper has advised North Carolinians to avoid driving as officials work to clear the roads.
But if you’re someone who must drive, here are some tips to navigate the icy conditions as Charlotte thaws:
- Leave early. Allow twice the normal driving time to reach your destination.
- Clear as much snow and ice from your vehicle as possible before you hit the road, and never pour hot water on the window to melt ice and snow, as this can crack the windshield.
- Don’t tailgate. It can take you between three and 10 times more distance to stop.
- Stop slowly. If you do not have anti-lock brakes, pump your brakes to slow down. If you do have anti-lock brakes, hold the pedal down firmly to stop.
- Approach bridges and overpasses with caution. These areas and others at high elevations tend to freeze first.
- Drive in existing tracks. To help with traction, drive in paths already made by other vehicles.
- Take your foot off the gas if you start to slide, and carefully turn the steering wheel toward where you want the wheels to go.
- Keep a kit in your car equipped with blankets, boots, gloves, hats and other warm accessories in addition to required medication. Also bring jumper cables, a shovel, an ice scraper, as well as something that can be used for traction, such as cat litter or sand.
- A major driving tip: Slow down.
Source: Observer archives
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer