How to survive driving in the snow

I have had to drive in a snow storm three times since last night.  Had to go to school for a quiz last night, which was canceled by the way, then had to fight home so I could get some sleep before battling the snow on my way into work this morning.  I had to remember many driving techniques I hadn’t had to use  in a while.  Just as a reminder for anyone who has to drive in the snow today.

1. SLOW DOWN.  This seems obvious enough, right?  But too many people don’t.

2.  Follow from a distance.  Again,  obvious.  4 wheel drive doesn’t help you stop, and ABS only can do so much.

3.  Don’t slam your breaks.  In the snow, your wheels stop very well, but if they stop, your car won’t.  Come to a stop slowly.  If you feel your car starting to slide, instead of hitting the breaks harder, let off of them.

4. Don’t make sharp maneuvers.   If you prevent your wheels from locking up, you will have traction, but only so much.  That traction has to be spread out to your turning and acceleration or breaking.  If you request more traction than you have available, you are going to slide.  Just the basic laws of physics here.

5.  Don’t drive unless you have to.  The middle of a snow storm is not the time to go to the movies or go grocery shopping.  That can wait until the plows have cleared the road.

6.  Avoid stopping in deep snow.  Last winter I saw a car in the ditch.  I pulled onto the shoulder, which hadn’t been plowed.  She was OK, but when I went to pull out, my car didn’t want to go anywhere.   Learn from my mistake, don’t pull over to help unless you are sure you won’t get stuck too.

Have any tips of your own?  Please share them in the comments.

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2 Responses to “How to survive driving in the snow”


  1. 1 nick 02.01.08 at 11:12

    Great tips Mike, it’s amazing how so many people forget how to drive in the snow…. and I admit I m one of them. Man I hate the winter!

  2. 2 mwilsonemt 02.02.08 at 12:38

    Well, at least you have an excuse to stay in the house for a while.


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