December is almost finished and the new year is approaching, this is the time of year of unpredictability when it comes to driving around Ithaca and the surrounding areas. While people often wonder how cold it’s going to be on any given day, the temperatures during the winter months are only part of the weather equation. You can bet your bottom dollar that we’re in for some snowy days that will litter the roadways with the white stuff. But, you can also count on that snow melting and turning to slush on warmer days. Oh yeah, and to make things more interesting, count on there being days when it rains, or we get rain mixing with snow.
Yeah, winter driving around Ithaca is kind of a mixture of cold, cloudy, windy and mild. Therefore, our Ithaca body shop cautions you to adjust your driving habits accordingly. Sometimes roads may look deceptively clear, and be covered in spots with sheets of ice. This is what’s called patchy ice road conditions. It’s usually caused by a warming trend that melts snow, followed by plummeting cold temperatures. You know from making ice in your freezer how quickly water freezes. Imagine what happens when your tires hit those ice patches, and you’re driving at a good rate of speed…not expecting to suddenly find your car skidding into a spin.
The other side of the winter temperature coin is sudden snowstorms that blanket the road with snow. While we’re lucky not to live in Buffalo, where tons of snow literally gets dumped on the city overnight, Ithaca is next to Cayuga Lake, and because of this proximity to a large body of water, you can expect the city to occasionally experience heavy snow storms. Packed snow can make driving conditions rough, especially during and right after a storm.
Our Ithaca repair shop hopes that you make a habit of checking the weather conditions before going out on the road this month. That way, you’ll have an idea of what to expect. Drivers don’t have control over Mother Nature, but you do have control over how you handle your car out on those wintry roads. Most drivers do a good job of maneuvering through ice and packed snow. However, you never know when a distraction is going to cause you to briefly take your eyes off the road. And, you never know when another driver is going to be driving impatiently when they should be cautious. These are the things that typically cause major and minor car accidents in the winter.
At Wink’s Ithaca Body Shop, we specialize in quality auto body repair that is a cut above your average auto garage. And, we’ve built up a great reputation over the years as the Ithaca collision repair specialists to call should you wind up having an accident. We sure hope that doesn’t happen to you or anyone you know, but it’s mighty good to know that we’re just a phone call away when you need reliable auto body work during these rough driving winter months.
The big holiday season is here and there are lots of cars, SUVs and trucks on the road filled with drivers going to work, school, shopping, running errands or making deliveries. People are driving to visit family and friends and often filled with emotions ranging from anxiety to happiness. With so much going on it’s easy for drivers to get distracted. Unfortunately, the season to be jolly is also the season of car accidents due to slippery roads.
Wink’s Ithaca Body Shop wants you and your loved ones to remain safe this holiday season, so we’ve put together these helpful tips:
Don’t Drive When Roadways are Dangerous
During a storm stay informed about current driving conditions. When a driving alert is in place and drivers are warned to stay off the roads – listen and stay off the roads. There are times when the best choice is to not drive when road conditions are too treacherous. When ice is a factor, road teams need time to salt the roads and make them passable again.
One of the big reasons why drivers end up in accidents while driving in icy conditions is driving too fast. The dangerous thing about road ice is that you can’t always see it, and when you realize you’ve hit a patch of ice, it’s usually too late to slow down and prevent a collision. The smart thing to do is to drive cautiously at slower speeds, which allows you to have control should your car wheels make contact with ice.
Oh, and if you assume that you can handle your vehicle just fine at normal speeds on icy roads, please be aware that this overconfidence can lead to a serious accident. Your car can have the fanciest antilock brakes and traction control on the planet, and it won’t do you any good if you’re unprepared to handle an ice skid. Winks Body Shop in Ithaca knows that even the best driver’s have trouble controlling a skidding car at normal speeds. Unless you’ve practiced handling your car while skidding dozens of times to regain control, it’s best to simply slow way down.
Ease Up on the Brakes
It’s a common reflex reaction to hit the brakes hard when encountering a slippery patch of road. However, this is sure to lock up your braking system, which means your wheels are uncontrollable during a slide. Instead, go easy on the brakes while driving as slow as possible, this gives you the best chance of maintaining control.
Turn Into a Slide
When you feel the car sliding don’t panic. Remember to always turn the car’s steering wheel in the same direction the car is sliding. For example, if the rear end is sliding left, turn the wheel left. Look in the direction you want your car to go while turning. If the car goes too far in one direction, turn the wheel in the opposite direction.
Stay Physically Safe
If you end up in an accident on a slippery road, remain inside of the car until help arrives or if you need to exit your vehicle move to the other side of the guardrails which will offer some protection from oncoming traffic. Don’t get out and stand in the roadway. People have been hit and killed after leaving the safety of their vehicle. Icy roads lead to dangerous situations for all drivers. Only exit your car when the roadway is clear, and head for an embankment or area where you won’t be hit.
Anytime you need fast, convenient collision repair in Ithaca, contact Wink’s Ithaca Body Shop for excellent service.