Travel: Bridges and overpasses

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When navigating a potentially slick commute, it’s important to know where ice forms first. In general, bridges ice over before roads. While most roads will lose heat evenly, bridges and overpasses do not have ground to help keep them insulated.

Cold air can reach below and above bridges and allow for quicker heat loss. As a result, the temperature of the road may be above freezing while the temperature of the bridge is below 32 degrees F.

If there’s wet pavement on the bridge, you could be driving into icy conditions.

If temperatures are near freezing, slow down as you approach a bridge or overpass and keep greater distance between you and other vehicles to avoid a spinout.

When approaching an icy bridge, take your foot off the gas to slow down. Moving at a higher speed means you are more likely to hit a patch of ice and lose control. Avoid braking, changing lanes, and accelerating. It is best to keep at a consistant, slow speed. While on an icy bridge because any sudden moves can make your vehicle slip or spin.

Other tips for driving during slippery conditions:

  • Increase your following distance behind other vehicles. This will provide a greater stopping distance if you have to stop suddenly.
  • If visibility is low, allow extra distance between vehicles should the car infront go off the road or stop suddenly.
  • Know your brakes. AAA recommends keeping the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal, whether you have antilock brakes or not. AAA provides more tips here.