You ever wonder what is that white stuff on the road when it’s snowing and you’re driving in a snowy weather condition? Or, perhaps, you’ve even tried to perform your own winter-weather roadwork and found yourself frustrated by all the snow, wind, and drifting snow that made it hard to tell exactly where you were going? If so, then you’re in the right place.
No, we’re not talking about salt or sand here; we’re referring to what is known as ‘sleet’. While there is some variance in the way that snow is defined by different countries and regions, sleet generally describes small (less than half a cup) ice particles that are suspended in air and fall as crystals or raindrops.
While most of us are familiar with the white stuff that falls from the sky during a snowstorm and causes havoc on our cars and other vehicles, sleet can be just as harmful. In fact, it is the most common cause of vehicle accidents in the wintertime. Why? Well, it’s not exactly clear, but it’s believed that the small size of the crystals makes them much more dangerous than larger snowflakes. Essentially, the more direct the surface, the easier it is for them to slip and slide around, bringing with them the potential for dangerous outcomes. Slippery roads, especially in winter conditions, pose a grave threat to drivers and passengers alike. Unfortunately, there’s no magic potion for winter roadwork. It takes a bit of preparation and some common sense to work safely in winter conditions. Let’s take a look at how you can ensure that your winter roadwork goes as smoothly as possible:
If you’re working near or on a road, you’ll need to make sure that the road is fairly clear of any ice beforehand. A good way to do this is by pre-treating the road surface with oil or diesel fuel. This will help prevent the formation of ice on the road during the day and into the evening, when temperatures start to drop. It’s also a good idea to wait until after the snow has been cleared from the road before applying the oil or fuel. This will help with traction and prevent any accidents should the road become icy again at some point during your workday. Remember, the best way to prevent accidents is to be safe, so be mindful of your surroundings and prepare for all eventualities. Don’t drive faster than you would during the daytime and take breaks when needed to prevent overexertion and stress.
If your road is not pre-treated with oil or fuel, then your next priority should be figuring out a good way to clear the snow from it. If you’re trying to clear the snow by hand, it’s best to do this in the morning hours before the start of the day. This is when the temperature is at its peak and the snow, which is more likely to stick to surfaces, is at its thickest. If this is not possible, then you should clear the snow with some kind of equipment, like a snow blower or a snow pusher. These devices will help you get the job done quickly and effectively. Remember, there’s no substitute for common sense and being attentive to your surroundings. In extreme cases, if a blizzard conditions or another snowstorm is imminent, then you should stop whatever you’re doing and seek shelter.
Windshield Wiper Blades
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but make sure that your windshield wipers are regularly cleaned and replaced. The best time for this is just before you head into the morning commute, as this is when they’ll be at their most effective. It also helps if you change the weather strip surrounding your windshield as it can become gunked up with frost and debris from your wipers over time. These are just a few tips to keep you safe and sound during your winter roadwork journey. Be sure to use your best judgement and plan out your route wisely. If you’re new to winter driving, then take it easy and let your guard down, but don’t be afraid to prepare for the worst as well. Driving in winter conditions can be exhilarating while also being challenging, so be mindful of your surroundings and above all, have fun!