Winter Weather Driving Tips
From your local weirdo that went out to the store right after the first snowstorm.
First things first, these are tips, not really rules. I highly suggest taking them to heart, but some of this might not work out for you or your vehicle.
Both Hands on the Wheel - Ignore the temptation to skip that song, or switch the radio. Your hands should leave that wheel as little as possible. Now, important things like switching what direction your heat is blowing, or activating 4w drive are different. Also, try to stay relaxed- your mind and body react faster if you aren’t all tensed up.
Stay on the Main Roads - The plows will regularly return to those, as they are where the most traffic goes through. Side roads and back roads will have less frequent passes done. There are only so many plows in the city/county, and they can’t be everywhere at once. Don’t count on them plowing all the roads until at least half a day after the snow has stopped. Maybe more.
Give the Speed Limit the (Metaphorical) Middle Finger - If you don’t feel safe going 55 on a snowy road, then don’t. Your safety is much more important than the impatience of other drivers. And honestly? A lot of them will agree with you. Slam on that 4w drive if you have it. It might eat up more gas, but you will have much more control on bad roads.
If You Fishtail, Do Like Lightning McQueen - Fishtailing is where your back end slides to the sides, and a lot of people panic when that happens. Do not hit the brake! That is a sure way to lose all control of your vehicle. Let off the gas, and turn your wheel in the direction your tail end is sliding towards. Your car will even out after a few moments. This is because your front tires will stay straight on the road, making sure you don’t actually veer side to side as much as you might if you don’t do this. A fishtail can easily turn into a spin-out if you panic.
Watch for Black Ice - The roads will look wet in areas, but do not assume that’s what it actually is. Black ice looks nearly identical to a wet road. The above about fishtailing will help you deal with hitting it, but black ice is the wildcard of winter driving.
Turn Off Your Brights in a Whiteout - The hi-beams will only blind you with the copious amount of snow in the air, and you won’t be able to see beyond ten feet. Keep your lo-beams on, they are directed down more, and will light up the road instead of the blowing/falling snow.
Just be Careful - It sounds really vague, and should already be a major part of driving, but it bears repeating anyway. Try not to have any distractions, pay attention to what’s ahead of and behind you, and keep an eye out for things that will suddenly go into the road.