The Classic Icy Road Spin Out... and how to Avoid / Counter / Respond

Last weekend, the mid-west was pommelled with snow… more than 12 inches where I live and we are expecting another onslaught of snow this weekend!  With no end in sight, as much as we try to avoid driving in these conditions… well  sometimes life events require us to ‘deal with it’ and make treacherous journeys.  This was the case for me over the weekend and on Sunday, despite my best efforts avoid, after sliding on “black ice", countering to correct, and oscillating a couple times, I found myself stuck in a snow-filled ditch on the side of a scary section of highway….

This blog is dedicated to sharing my experience with you; sharing ways to prevent / countering spins outs; and what you need to know if what happened to me, happens to you!

Avoid spin outs altogether:

-Stay off the road.  This is the best way to avoid spinning out.  

-Keep speeds slow and avoid sudden changes in speed – especially when changing lanes, rounding turns, and on the on/off ramps.

-Have most current information before deciding to leave your house – most states keep their DOT websites up to date!

If you find yourself in a spin out:

-Stay calms and DON’T break!

-Turn into the spin (and your turn should be proportionate to the severity of the spin).

-Expect your car to oscillate several times – remember over-correction in steering only makes it worse!!!

Oops, I’m in a ditch:

-Communicate to local law enforcement and your insurance company of status – assuming no injuries – and get a support vehicle on site.

-Mark your position to warn oncoming traffic – I like flares because they work both day and night (plus who doesn’t like pyro)!

-Unlike me, have a snow shovel, chains, and a tow rope – maybe you can get yourself out with a little elbow grease – but don’t put yourself in danger spot by working you digging out.

After my mishap, I went google to see what information was out there on this topic and found this video useful:  

Stay safe this winter and always air on the side of caution when traveling!!!

As always, train hard and stay frosty!


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