Experts discuss best driving techniques for slick roads

Published On: Feb 06 2014 10:47:50 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 06 2014 10:50:49 PM CST

Hazardous driving conditions continue across Wichita and the slick roads bring up questions about the different functions on vehicles. Eyewitness News went to Rusty Eck to find out the best ways to stay safe on the slick streets.

Salesman John Dotts says there are very few cars that are "good" on ice, but over the years vehicle makers have made improvements. "On the traction control, if a wheel on the front would slip, it pulses the brake and makes the other wheel work harder." Dotts says that is pretty much constant on almost all brands now.

Your vehicle may have a traction control button, but experts say you do not need to push it. "The way I think of it is, if I turn this off I'm going to have these squiggly lines behind my car. I'm going to lose my traction," said internet salesman Joe Konen.

Konen says the button is only there for times when you do not need traction. "If you were actually bogged down in some snow and couldn't get it out and you needed to really get that forward movement started, you would want to turn that off," said Konen.

The guys say if roads are slick, you want to be in a four-wheel drive vehicle if possible but newer two-wheel drives are just as safe.

Dotts says thanks to anti-lock brakes, you no longer need to pump your brakes on the ice. But when sliding toward something, some people still feel they need to pump to keep the wheel from locking up. "We want the electronics of the car to work, but if you're getting so close that you know you are going to hit it then even releasing the brake and going ahead and trying to steer through it, that's a last resort," he said.

Dotts says drivers need to be more willing to learn how to drive with the newest technology. "If I have a car that has a greater chance of saving my life if I do this, then I need to learn to do that and accept it. The cars are getting so smart that we can trust them."

He says while the roads are still slick, you should go out into an open area where there is no possibility for error and practice those lifesaving techniques.

Kansas Highway Patrol troopers say driving too fast is still the number one cause of weather-related wrecks.

Car experts say rear-wheel drive vehicles are the most difficult to drive on slick roads.