How to prepare your car to navigate icy roads safely

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As the Mid-South prepares for the potential of an ice storm that could cripple the roads, make sure you prep your car now in the event you have to drive on icy roads.

It’s always encouraged to stay home if you do not have to be out, but there are instances when you may not have a choice.

PHOTOS: Damage from across the area as the ice storm moves through

FOX13 spoke to Chris Mayo, a mechanic at Raleigh Tires, about how you can prep your car to be safe on icy roads.

One of the most important things to check will be your car’s tire tread and tire pressure.

“If you don’t have good enough tread when you turn or run across the icy bridges and stuff, that’s where you lose control,” said Mayo.

The tread on your tires gives your car a grip to drive. Without any tread, there’s nothing for your tires to grip too which means you could go sliding around the road, especially if the roads are icy. If you can’t make it to a mechanic in time to check the tread, Mayo said you can check it at home with just a penny.

“If it goes past the Lincoln head, a lot of times that means you’re in the ok zone,” said Mayo.

You also need to check your tires pressure.

“If there’s too much air in them it’ll act almost like a basketball with too much air when you hit a bump and then tires are so hard they don’t grip the ground right,” said Mayo. If there’s not enough pressure, Mayo said it could cause a rollover effect. “The tire will roll over and then it’ll actually it could make the vehicle rollover if it’s top-heavy,” Mayo said.

Other car maintenance you should check include your oil, other car fluids, brakes, windshield wipers, lights, and putting together a safety kit.

If you find yourself stuck on the roads during the ice storm, you can call TDOT for help at (901) 545-2677 or (901) 495-1180, or you can dial *THP (*847) in the event of an emergency.