Winter can be a treacherous time of year for drivers, especially in areas with heavy snow. As a resident of MInnesota, blizzards are a common occurrence. Here are some helpful tips to get you going and keep you safe in times of winter driving.
Tip #5: Get going early! If you have to be somewhere at a certain time, get moving extra early to give yourself enough time to get your car ready, warmed up, and to get there safely. The worst thing to be in (besides a blizzard) when it is snowing heavily is a rush.
Tip #4: Be Prepared! Be prepared to spend time scraping and/or brushing the snow or ice off your car when you get going. If you have access to a garage to store your car in when you’re not driving, that’s an extra bonus, but for most people having a scraper with a brush is a necessity even with a garage. Make sure to brush the snow off all of the windows, especially if you don’t have a wiper on the back windshield. Don’t forget the mirrors, lights, and almost as important as the windows, your hood. Brushing off the hood is a good practice because if you have a good pile of snow on your hood, it’s going to fly in your face as you drive. So brushing off the hood is an important part of pre-driving preparation in the snow.
Tip #3: Well traveled roads are your best friend! Try to avoid side streets that have not yet been plowed and salted at all costs. It’s hard for some who live in smaller towns like I do, but well traveled roads are your safest route to wherever you’re going. If they haven’t been plowed or salted yet, chances are there has been enough traffic through them to give you a decently clear path to drive in. In this case, Robert Frost is not the one to listen to.
Tip #2: Don’t assume! When you assume you make an ass out of ‘u’ and me. (Thanks, Mr. Larson). Just because your SUV has 4-wheel drive and winter tires doesn’t mean that it won’t slip and slide in heavy snow. Use as much caution as you would driving a Prius when you’re driving your Escalade.
Tip #1: TAKE IT EASY. Don’t think you have to go the speed limit to drive in the snow. Use discretion when it comes to speed and only take it as fast as you’re comfortable with. Use extreme caution when driving on roads that are not plowed and salted and especially on curvy roads and hills. If someone is riding your tail when you’re going at a slower speed for safety, ignore them (unless they are a cop.) and keep doing what you’re doing. You shouldn’t compromise your own safety because some speed demon is trying to hump your bumper.
There are many things you can do to make your driving experiences in the snow safer and less stressful. Take these tips with you when you bundle up to travel in the snow. Drive safe!