Winter weather throws many challenges at drivers, including freezing temperatures, wind and snow. But one of the most treacherous conditions to drive in is freezing rain. This weather phenomenon can occur into the spring, long after you think winter has passed, so it's wise to know more about freezing rain.
Freezing rain occurs when the upper atmosphere is warm enough to produce precipitation in the liquid form. But when temperatures at ground level are below freezing, this rain freezes on contact, making surfaces slippery. Often invisible, it creates an even more dangerous situation called black ice. At its worst, it can be like driving on an ice skating rink. Unlike snow, there is little to no friction between the car tires and the pavement, meaning controlling the vehicle is very challenging.
If you find yourself traveling during an episode of freezing rain, find a safe place to park and take a break. Even the best drivers have incidents in freezing rain because control is so difficult in these circumstances. Check the weather report and wait for road crews to treat surfaces. In the event that the freezing rain is supposed to persist, you should wait out the storm and change your travel plans.
Because freezing rain is so unnoticeable, you may not even realize it is happening until you see other cars skidding or experience sliding yourself. In that case, proceed very slowly and leave a lot of room between you and other vehicles. Avoid braking or accelerating suddenly. When sliding, release your foot from the brake and keep your hands on the steering wheel to navigate the vehicle in the correct direction. Generally, you should steer into the skid, so if the back end of your car slides left, gently steer to the left to avoid going into a spin. Then prepare yourself to steer the other direction if the vehicle overcompensates for the correction.
More accidents occur in freezing rain than any other weather event, so use extreme caution when conditions are favorable for this type of precipitation. Again, whenever possible, avoid driving in freezing rain because it's better to get to your destination late, than have to deal with the consequences of an accident. And the longer you go without an accident, the less you’re likely to pay for auto insurance.
Drive with caution this season. Call First Independent - Descamps Insurance Agency at (888) 513-8784 for more information on Sterling Heights auto insurance.