How to drive in the snow

There’s a voice that keeps on calling me, through the snow, that’s where I’ll always be.  Every stop I make, can’t get started again.  Just hit the gas, hold on fast, and I’ll pass again.

Okay, so that lame attempt to rewrite the Littlest Hobo theme song has been brought to you by an early Saturday attempt to blog (early? it’s 11:34!)

In honour of all the winter weather which has cursed blessed us with mounds of snow, I’d like to offer my tips for driving in snowy, slippery conditions.

As someone who commutes two hours every day, I know a few things about driving in the winter.

These are my stories.

Dum, dum.

  • Always remember to wear or carry warm winter clothes in your car.  You never know when you’ll have to walk out of Timbuktu because your car is mired in a snowbank the size of Ski Martock.  May I suggest a geek hat, homemade mittens, and mukluks?
  • Coffee.  When you’re driving along at 50 kilometres an hour because the road looks like sloppy icing sugar, you’ll be glad you have something to keep you awake.
  • Inspirational music.  Have a mixture of peppy music like Eye of the Tiger to get your game face on.  You’ll need this when you have to increase your speed to get up a steep hill.  Nothing feels like you’re going to die more than accelerating to beat the foot of snow trying to slow your car down.
  • Calming music.  When you’re behind a snow plow driving 30 kilometres an hour in blinding, hypnotic snow watching that blinding, hypnotic yellow snow plow light, you’ll be glad to have something soothing like Sarah McLachlan.   Otherwise you’ll go Here’s Johnny! stark raving mad.
  • A shovel.  Whether you take your road rage out on a fellow driver or need to shovel your car out of a snow drift, you’ll be glad you have a shovel.  Better than using your hands.
  • A candle and (obviously) something with which to light it.  Supposedly this will keep you warm if you get stranded.  Also, if your car breaks down and you don’t want to fix it, you have an alternate solution to taking it to the garage.
  • Food.  If you get stuck, then you don’t have to go all Alive on your passengers.  (I’m pretty plump, so I’d probably be the first to be eaten.)  Energy bars will do the trick unless you’re Hannibal Lecter.
  • Flashlight.  For lighting the way or telling ghost stories if you’re stuck.  And no one ever found his car again… muwhahahahahaha *cough* ha.
  • A cell phone or OnStar.  This is for your weakest moment when you have to bail and call for help.
  • No fear.  You should have a healthy humbleness in regards to winter driving, yes.  But you should also steel yourself for conditions that would make lesser drivers quiver in their seats.  Too much fear distracts you and makes you jerk your steering wheel too much.
  • Drive as though you have three cranky but sleeping babies in your backseat.  This should ensure you’re gentle at the controls, braking softly, steering gently.
  • Winter tires.  I can’t stress this enough.  You must have winter tires if you live in an area with any amount of snow and ice.  The compound is softer, for more traction, and the thick treads channel away snow and slush.  Plus, if you don’t get winter tires, I’ll be cursing you when I’m stuck behind you and you start sliding down a hill backwards.  Do us both a favour and get winter freakin’ tires!
  • And in regards to winter tires, get all freakin’ four!  Especially if you have a front wheel drive.  Front wheel drive plus only two snow tires on the front = Ice Capades.  Your arse end will slide around on you every time you brake, hit a bump, hit the gas (need I go on?)  Trust me, been there, done that!  I now drive with four winter beauties on my car.
  • And finally, when in doubt, pray to Jebus or start singing Soft Kitty.

    I think this summarizes it best.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Glenn says:

    Just as an additional point… should you only buy 2 winter tires because you cannot afford to buy 4, ensure that you put the 2 new winter tires on the BACK of your car.

    There are many reasons for this including (but not limited to): increased stability when turning; less likely to spin/skid and because it is also Government mandated for all tire shops to advise you to do this… may in fact void your insurance should you decide to put them on the front and get into an accident.

  2. Julie says:

    Reblogged this on THE DAILY HODGEPODGE and commented:

    Since I had 92 page views of this article yesterday, I thought I’d reblog it. Plus, it’s pertinent today here in Nova Scotia. Safe travels!

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