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In-Service Safety Series
In-Service Safety Series
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VI. Slippery Roads - Ice

  1. The third slippery condition we are going to talk about is ice
  2. Ice can come from
    1. Sleet: Raindrops that freeze into pellets before reaching the ground
      1. Sleet usually bounces and does not stick
      2. Sleet can accumulate like snow
    2. Freezing rain or drizzle: Rain falls onto a surface that is below freezing
      1. Freezing rain forms a coating or glaze of ice
    3. Hail: Irregularly formed chunks or stones of ice
      1. Hail can accumulate like snow
      2. It is usually not a cause of slippery conditions, although it can cause damage to vehicle exteriors and windows
    4. Ice fog: Fog that develops in an area where the temperature is at or below freezing
      1. The moisture in the fog collects as ice on windshields and lights, severely restricting the ability to see or be seen
    5. Melted water that has frozen
      1. Either rain that has frozen after a quick cold turn or snow or ice that has thawed and refrozen
  3. Just as ice can come from various sources, there are different kinds of icing conditions
    1. Black ice
      1. A very thin and often almost invisible layer of ice
      2. Black ice is clear enough that you can see the road beneath it
      3. It makes the road look wet and shiny
    2. Glazed ice
      1. What you would get from freezing rain or ice fog
    3. Melting ice
      1. An layer of ice with water on top
      2. Wet ice is much more slippery than ice that is not wet
    4. Frozen slush
      1. Snow that has started to melt and gotten very soft and then refrozen
      2. The result is an icy and uneven driving surface
  4. Other than when the weather report is calling for icing conditions, when should you anticipate icing conditions?
    • When the ground is cold and there is some moisture from the sky
    • When snow has melted and refrozen
    • When the roads are wet and the temperature drops sharply
  5. Where is ice first found?
    • On bridges and overpasses
    • In shaded areas
    • In low-lying areas
    • On hilltops where the wind can blow light snow which then collects and freezes
  6. How the school bus driver should respond to ice
    1. Before you drive
      1. Check the weather report
      2. Call or talk to
        1. Parents or spotters
        2. Other drivers
        3. Dispatch
      3. Listen to the bus radio
      4. Check the roads yourself
    2. On your route if you suspect icing conditions
      1. Slow down gradually
      2. Avoid aggressive braking or steering
      3. Turn on headlights, strobe lights, 4-way flashers
      4. Stop, get out, and check the road surface yourself
      5. Double your following distance
      6. Give others a lane
      7. Practice defensive driving
      8. If there is ice in the air (from freezing rain or ice fog), be sure to run your defroster
        1. You may need to periodically get out and scrape the windshield and lights
        2. On older school buses you may also need to scrape the inside of the windshield
  7. Review local policy and procedures
  8. Are there any questions about driving in ice?

VI.B - Display Slide #12

VI.F - Distribute Handout #5, Slippery Roads - Ice


VI. Remind participants that their first preference should always be to avoid an adverse weather situation. This module deals with what to do if you haven't been able to avoid it. You will discuss those situations where the school bus driver has to decide what to do.

VI.A. Tell participants that all the information covered in this section will be on a handout which you will distribute shortly.

VI.B. You can review this material by asking “Where can ice come from?” Write the responses on the flipchart. As participants give answers, you can describe the conditions.

VI.B.4. Ice fog is like regular fog, only much colder. Still air and -25 degrees or colder are the main ingredients for ice fog. Ice fog can form from exhaust from vehicles or from a building's heating system exhaust. It can also form around open water before lakes or ponds freeze.

VI.C. You can review this material by asking “What forms can ice take?” Write the responses on the flipchart. As participants give answers, you can describe the conditions.

VI.F. Distribute Handout #5, Slippery Roads - Ice. Review it with the participants.

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