If you didn’t grow up driving in the snow (or even if you did) sometimes weather and road conditions can be rather terrifying. All it takes for one minor error, one icy patch, a bit of fog, a snow bank, or sleet, and you could find yourself in a world of white trouble. Nothing beats practice (after all it makes perfect), but there are a few rules of thumb and wheel that you should always follow.
1. Check the weather conditions. If there is a storm on the horizon, wait it out. Chances are you’ll have to wait anyway.
2. Just in case keep blankets, a flashlight, and an ice scraper with a brush in the car. If you can’t see out the window, you can’t drive.
3. Speaking of windows, you need to clean the snow off the window but also off the front hood. Assuming you turn the heat on while driving, the heat can turn all that snow into a huge ice ball. If you hit the breaks, it’s going to blind your vision. Plus all that snow flying off your car, is most certainly obstructing the view of the driver behind you.
4. You need a traction tire and chains that fit your car. You don’t need chains that fit a truck on a smaller car. Speed limit with chains is 25 mph.
5. If you do get stuck, don’t blast your heat while waiting for help. It can run down the battery.
6. If you start to skid, turn into the skid. This means you want the front tires to turn the direction the car is skidding. This is the only way you gain traction again.
7. If you have a manual car, downshift instead of breaking to slow down.
And remember, better safe than sorry– always let someone else know where you’re headed.