Every year I am more and more flabbergasted by my ancestors’ choice to settle in such horrid and cold conditions. Did they not know Texas was there? *Sigh* Maybe someday I’ll write blogs about the best sunscreen to use year-round or how to plant a garden in mid-December. But until I can move south (As South as I possibly can, perhaps the Yucatan Peninsula, I bet it’s never snowed there) I’ll share with you a few tips for Driving in this icy, messy, blizzard-y weather.
- First and foremost, Defensive Driving. Be aware of your surroundings, use your peripherals, mirrors and other eyes in the vehicle. Watch out for other vehicles that have maybe lost control or seem to be sliding.
- Keep your distance. The only accident I’ve ever been in (knock on wood) was a rear-end collision because someone behind me was following too close and the street was icy. Experts say (what constitutes an expert in winter driving? I would like to put my name in the bowl!) you should leave at least FOUR car lengths between you and the car in front of you if possible. This should give you plenty of room to stop short, if need be.
- Correct yourself correct. If tragedy strike and you DO start to slide, RELEASE THE GAS OR BRAKE PEDAL! I know your first instinct will be to brake; RESIST!!! Another instinctual movement would be to turn left if you’re sliding right. WRONG. Turn about a half a crank of the wheel in the same direction you’re sliding. This may not be necessary, though, as letting off the brake will usually work.
- Don’t stop if you don’t have to. If you’re driving slow enough you can probably avoid most stops, short of red lights or trains….do trains run in the snow?! I don’t know!
- AWD. All Wheel Drive. That means all 4 of your tires are working simultaneously toward the same goal, thus obviously making it much easier for your vehicle to get around, especially in snow and ice. Most Crossovers and SUVs come with 4 Wheel Drive built-in, but if you’re in the market for something less “macho”, AWD is standard in almost every Subaru ever built. Bonus: Subaru makes pretty stylin’ station wagons, and who doesn’t love those??
- Stay Home. This becomes increasingly hard the older I get. I just want to go to the grocery store without risking frostbite on my fingers! But honestly, if you’re scared to drive, just don’t. You’re not only putting yourself at risk, but other drivers and passengers, too. Plus, you can pretty much get ANYTHING delivered nowadays. Even Wal-Mart delivers. And like everyone’s grandma used to say, Better Safe Than Sorry!