I feel it’s my duty to write a post with some tips for driving in snow and ice. What makes me qualified, you ask? I just spent TWO AND A HALF HOURS driving home from work in the worst conditions I’ve experienced, oh, ever. Not only that, I live in Indiana and drive in snow all the time…Haven’t wrecked yet so I must be doing something right!
- Go slow. Yeah, it sounds silly and obvious but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone (usually a four wheel drive vehicle) driving too fast only to see them in a ditch later.
- Do NOT use cruise control. Seriously, terrible idea. This is also true if it’s raining. If you start to lose traction, your car will accelerate to get to the speed you’ve set…sending you flying into a guardrail or off the road.
- Try to lay off the brake. If you have to use it, apply pressure as slowly and gently as possible. Tapping your brake every five seconds (or worse, stomping on it) will likely cause you to lose control on slippery roads. If you need to slow down, take your foot off of the gas.
- Don’t yank on the steering wheel…Keep your movements deliberate and slow.
- In lots of cases, momentum is your friend…So if you don’t absolutely have to stop, don’t. I’m not saying you should be running stop signs and lights all over the place, but if you’re on a country road and you’re the only person around it’s going to be a lot easier to roll through that four-way stop.
- Don’t tailgate. Seriously, I don’t know why I should have to say that. Leave extra room between you and the person in front of you. Also known as the Don’t Be an Asshole rule.
- Be extra careful on bridges.
- If you’re only comfortable going 20 miles an hour, turn on your hazards and drive 20 miles an hour. Don’t feel like you have to keep up with everyone else. If you get behind someone that’s driving slower than you’d like, give them some room and wait for a good time to pass. Seriously, don’t be an asshole.
- If you’re afraid to drive in the snow and ice just don’t do it. Seriously, you might be putting the other drivers in danger as well as yourself if you’re out there making mistakes because you’re nervous.
I drive a VW Jetta and these are all things I do to get to my destination safely. If I missed anything, feel free to let me know!