Winter Driving Isn’t Rocket Science

Winter has finally arrived in full force where I live. Some of you may have already had some big snowfalls, but yesterday was the first here in the Rocky Mountains for us. I enjoy all seasons really, so winter is neither good nor bad for me. I like the cold, I enjoy snow and I even enjoy driving in snow. I know, something is off in my head you are thinking. What I don’t enjoy is the drivers that have no sense about how to change their driving styles for the road conditions.

How hard is it really to recognize that when their is some snowfall and the temperatures drop that road conditions just might be a little less favorable than normal? Ice is not your car’s best friend, trust me. No amount of engineering into the roads and snow removal equipment efforts is going to completely remove the patches that can send your car a flyin’. I leave of the “when you least expect it” purposely here – because you should, EXPECT IT! If you allow for a little extra time in your commute to wherever you are headed, you can drive like a sane sharer of the road and avoid sliding your car around me, which is what I really care about.

Oh, I know, you have that wonderful SUV that makes you feel big and important, and impervious to any road conditions being a problem. Trust me, you are the worst ones on the road. You think 4WD is going to help you stop any faster? Little tip: nope. In fact, you have such a high center of gravity and bigger tires to go with that mammoth weighing tank you drive that you actually need MORE distance to stop than a smaller car. Uh oh, did I break your happy SUV owner bubble? Hey, I like enjoy 4WD on my truck too, but I also drive with some sense to keep that paint job intact.

As I said, I enjoy snow and the winter season. I have fond memories of sledding, snowball fights and forts, and playing in the snow throughout my childhood, and into my adulthood for that matter. I grew up in Washington State where snow was a plenty. Washington also has a lot of country road with big ditches for the regular rainfall we were so famous for. I also have fond memories of going out with my dad at each fresh snowfall and pulling cars out of those big ditches with our 4WD vehicles. And if you are from the Northwest, you know that most of those drivers were recent imports from California who didn’t realize you needed to slow down when there was snow on the road. Huh. I would have chalked that one up to common sense, but then I grew up in a state where we had “weather” 85% of the year.
So if you live in states that receive snow and ice, do us all a favor. Go find a big parking lot and do some practice driving. Get up to speed and put on your brakes, hard. Yep, you slide. Get used to the feeling and learn how to turn into that slide, pump your brakes and leave enough room to stop without sliding. Learn how to drive a little slower if the conditions require it. Save yourself the heartache of dinging up your fenders, or worse getting into a major accident. You’ll appreciate it, and if you live around me, so will I.

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