Icy bridges could cause problems for motorists

TUPELO – Now that freezing temperatures have arrived, motorists need to approach bridges with caution.
Mississippi Highway Patrolman Ray Hall said troopers spend a lot of time responding to icy bridge-related calls when the weather drops below freezing. But Hall said there are a few driving rules that will increase your chance of crossing an icy bridge safely.
“What causes most of these accidents is speed,” said Hall. “People just try to speed across the bridges, not knowing they have iced over, and end up out of control and in a ditch. It’s not always easy to see ice on a bridge, especially when there hasn’t been much moisture, but it’s there. So people need to approach every bridge like its iced over.”
Bridges are most likely to ice before sunrise, when they are less visible.
Hall said when hitting a patch of ice, don’t slam on the brakes. He said that causes the car to lose control much faster. Easing off the gas and going with the skid is the best chance a person has of getting the vehicle straightened out after it starts skidding.
“The worst thing you can do is hit the brakes. The best thing you can do is just get off the gas and go with the flow, so to speak,” said Hall. “Just steer your car into the slide. If the car is sliding left then turn your wheel left. You can guide your way out of the skid that way.”
Another thing to avoid is getting out of your car on the bridge after you’ve wrecked. Hall said stay in your car and wait for help because another vehicle could be skidding right behind you and being on the bridge doesn’t leaves you room to dodge an oncoming vehicle.

Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com.

Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal

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