Every year dozens if not hundreds of vehicles break through the ice. A lot of money and resources are spent on recovery efforts, lives are endangered and some even lost...needlessly.
Of course the best advice is to simply avoid driving on frozen rivers and lakes, because no ice is 100% safe. But if you're an ice angler that's not always practical. At the least you should follow several simple and common sense guidelines for traveling over frozen water.
This infographic covers the survival guidelines you need to be aware of and repeatedly practice in your mind before you drive out onto a lake.
Most importantly, keep your wits about you should the unexpected occur. Don't panic, and try to move deliberately and quickly.
When driving, keep your windows open and your vehicle doors cracked open. If disaster strikes and you break through, as soon as you hit open water, GET OUT! Don't worry about leaving anything behind, unless it's another person.
If you're unable to escape before the vehicle sinks, remain calm. Wait until the vehicle begins filling with water. When the water reaches your head take a deep breath and hold it. You should be able to open the door and swim to the surface.
Practice your escape plan as best you can before you drive out onto the ice. Discuss the plan and procedures with everyone in the vehicle, and make sure that everyone is on the same page as to how they will react.
Click here to watch a short two-minute video on what to do if you're walking and you break through the ice.
Click here for 10 safety items to be sure that you carry with you when traveling over frozen water.
And finally, click here to learn about a life-saving device that is earning national attention with rescue units across the country.
Be safe out there!
Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his Facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.