As winter rolls in and road conditions worsen across the country, most people prefer to curl up under a blanket and avoid driving if they can. For the drivers on "Ice Road Truckers," however, icy conditions mean big money. The History Channel television show follows these weather savvy drivers as they carry multiton truckloads across dangerous stretches of frozen lakes in Alaska and Canada, braving brutal weather and sleep deprivation in the process. While the drivers on the show have traveling on ice down to a science, most people have a harder time handling slick winter roads. In fact, icy roads contributed to nearly 500 U.S. fatalities in the winter of 2008-2009 alone [source: IcyRoadSafety.com].
Icy roads aren't just a problem in the northernmost states either. Midwestern and southern states only get snow a few times a year, but transportation departments in those states are less equipped to respond to icy road conditions. Since drivers in those states have less experience and preparation for winter driving, they find themselves at a high risk of getting in an accident whenever winter weather affects the roads. In fact, icy roads caused more fatalities in Indiana than any other state for the 2008-09 winter season, with states like Oklahoma and Texas also in the top 10 [source: IcyRoadSafety.com].
Fortunately, there are a number of different ways you can prepare yourself and your car to help safely navigate icy roads. In this article, we'll take a look at what makes driving on ice so dangerous, along with ways you can stay safe when road conditions take a turn for the worse. Read on to learn how good tires can help you get a grip on winter driving.