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Oklahoma Ice

I drive a 2007 Toyota Yaris. I was driving into work today, when like every January/February in Oklahoma precipitation causes ice to form on the road. Doing my best to drive slowly, pump on the brakes, etc, I made it to the ramp going into my work. This ramp is about an eighty degree incline, nothing is salted, or sanded yet. While turning in my car skidded into the opposite curb and bang my front driver’s side tire. I was not going more than 15 mph at the time. The tire is now tilted inward at the top. I called insurance and such, hopefully they will call me back. My question, any idea how much this will cost to fix?

Or what I might do differently next time I drive on ice, which is likely. Should I have tried to shift into reverse, or turned the wheel and gassed it?

I don’t know about the cost, it depends if the body got tweaked. Once you start skidding on ice with normal tires, you’re pretty well toast. You did mention pumping the brakes - don’t you have ABS? If so, don’t pump. In ice, better to drive in a way that uses the brakes as absolutely the least amount possible, and, if used, used very gently.

Cost? Depends on what damage was done, labor cost, etc.

I wouldn’t be calling my ins co. though.

All you’re going to do if the does pay for the repair, is raise your premium and Lord only knows how long that rate will stay.

It’s almost impossible to drive on ice. The tires can’t get traction in any direction. Nothing you could have done would have made any difference under the circumstances. Well, maybe driving 2 mph instead of 15, but even that’s no guaranty. Stay home until the roads are treated.

Four studded winter tires might help A LITTLE, but they won’t make a huge difference. Ice is ice, and there just isn’t any traction on ice.

As for pumping guess I should say pressing till the ABS kicks in then releasing and trying again. I do also try to down shift. No damage to the body just the tilted tire. I moved it to a safer area to leave it parked. At every rotation of the tire it gives a little groaning shudder and I can’t move the car at all if the wheel is turned hard right or left. It was a trick pushing it to a safe spot because it won’t turn very well.

By ‘body’, I meant the attachment points for the suspension. Some might call that the ‘frame’, but it’s actually part of the body these days.

Yeah it kinda sucks because i had driven down from Kansas to get to work today and it didn’t start in untill I got into town. Had I known I would have gone straight home.

Gotcha, my bad, but to answer that, yes it would appear as though the attachment points for the suspension did get “tweaked”.

Driving. You were in a no-win situation. An alternate route was the only possibility if you knew of a safe one. There are sometimes no options without going five miles out of the way. Then you find out about a worse hazard. You couldn’t have tried anything else that would have worked as well as just taking the hit. I drove on the ice in Ft. Smith Ak. once coming off of Rt. 40.

On the “what could have been differently” question, it’s always best to try and straighten out the wheels so they hit the curb as perpendicular to it as possible.

Easy to say sitting in a seat at the computer. I grew up driving in snow and ice and we made it a point to purposely skid cars, practicing in parking lots when we were younger. The more times you’re in a skid, the better you can keep your emotions in check and react earlier. I always turn into the skid and this naturally places the tires as perpendicular to the travel of the car as possible. In addition to having a better chance of recovering from the skid, the wheels then have a better chance of riding up and over any obstructions.

I once saw a guy exit the freeway too fast, skid through the traffic lanes and hit the median curb broadside. It stripped all 4 wheels off his Corvette and left him beached on the grass.

I will remember that next time, I guess its better to skin the underside of my front bumper than to hit the side of the tire, huh? Thanks

The customary items to become damaged during a curb strike are;
Control arms
Sway bars
Other things following closely after this are:
Steering knuckle

When getting the car inspected very close attention should be paid to the strut towers (part of the body) and the sub-frame. Cracked paint or undercoating can mean some serious damage. I have no clue what any of this would cost as the extent of the damage is not known.

Thanks, i appreciate it.

And, next time, DO NOT pump the brake if you have ABS! By pumping the brake pedal, you caused the ABS to be non-functional.

The correct way to apply the brake on ABS-equipped cars is to firmly hold the brake pedal as far as it will go, and allow ABS to do what you cannot do, namely cycle the brakes on and off MANY times per minute.

If your car is not equipped with ABS, then feel free to ignore the preceding advice. If it is equipped with ABS, then your post is evidence that you need to read your Owner’s Manual, which instructs you about how to brake with an ABS system.

Will do, thank you!

Good point on the cracked paint, OK, I had a sale fail because the buyer spied the cracked paint on my strut tower (from a curb strike, Dallas ice storm, what a coincidence!).

Why did you release the brakes? Normally it’s best to hold the brakes down and let the ABS do its job so that you’re going as slow as possible if or when you hit the curb.

Also, downshifting is a bad idea here. The engine braking doesn’t have ABS functionality, meaning that it can make you lose control where ABS alone wouldn’t.

What to do next time? Drive like you have an egg under your foot used to be the advice before ABS. Now you can mash the brake pedal, but not the accelerator. If you turn the wheel and the car does not change direction, stop turning it or turn it back a little because turning it more will only make it worse. As already mentioned, practice skidding helps keep you relaxed.

Well, I’m sort of happy tonight. I’m iced in here in NW Oklahoma but so far it’s not as bad as was predicted.
Looks like most of it is in SE OK and across northern TX.

Guess the body shops will be smiling in a day or so! Local news showed cars careening around like ones on a bumper car track. There’s a few upside down around here and a number of others in the ditch but it could be worse.