Slush could reasonably be called the least fun product of a winter storm. Snow has a certain whimsy and beauty about it. You can ski or snowboard on snow, you can make snowmen or start a snowball fight. Ice can be beautiful as well- it collects as icicles decorating each gutter and awning. You can skate and play on ice, but slush is just slush. To make matters worse, slush makes winter road conditions even more dangerous.
What is Slush?
Slush is a mix of snow, ice, water, dirt, and salt usually gray or black in color. During and after a snow storm, you may notice slush build-up between lanes and between tire tracks within lanes.
Slush is particularly dangerous for a few reasons. To begin with, slush shares friction characteristics with wet ice- on slushy roads, your tires have virtually no traction to accelerate, break, or turn. Unlike ice, slush builds up in mounds which act as a barrier on the side of your wheels when turning. Those mounds can also build up in your tire treads, further reducing traction between your wheels and the road.
Stay Safe on Slushy Roadways
Slushy roads are particularly dangerous because slush increases your likelihood of spinning out. When you brake and your tires do not have traction, the force of acceleration can cause your car to fish tail. Losing control of your car is terrifying and poses a hazard to yourself and other drivers. Check out our tips on how to be a safe driver on slushy roads.
- Lower your speed and increase the distance between yourself and other drivers.
- Do not overcorrect your steering if you begin to spin.
- Gradually accelerate, break, and turn. If you do so suddenly, you risk a higher chance of losing traction.
- Do not change lanes through rows of slush build-up unless absolutely necessary -plan your lane changes and chose a spot where there is less slush.
- Keep a firm grip on your steering wheel so that your car does not change directions if you were to hit a patch of slush build-up.
- Avoid using your cruise control setting.
- Maintain a steady pressure on your gas pedal to reduce the accelerating/braking forces exerted on your tires.
- A layer of ice may hide underneath a layer of slush. Be alert.
- Many drivers believe that FWD or a large vehicle will protect them against hazardous road conditions. Though helpful, it is still important to decrease your speed and to use caution.
At this point in the winter season, we have become accustomed to driving in winter road conditions. Snow, ice, and slush have become fixtures on our roadways. You cannot allow your familiarity with these conditions to become complacency. Drive with caution and attentiveness.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motor vehicle collision, please contact the attorneys at Rehmeyer & Allatt for a free consultation.