Driving in the snow

We are getting some serious snow right now and with all the people in town, a few reminders on snow driving. Needless to say, driving around is a challenge.  As someone, in a Subaru no less, did a 180 in front of me and ended up in a snow bank, it seemed like the perfect time to set up some reminders about how to drive in the snow.  So heads up!

There are a few things that make a HUGE difference in being successful when driving in the snow.  Successful means not ending up in a snow bank or slamming into another car or more.

The most important thing is to BE CONSIDERATE. Seriously, we’re all trying to get somewhere without damaging our cars or ourselves, so be considerate.

Tires.  You need really good tires.  You may have 4-wheel or all-wheel drive, but if your tires are shot, it won’t help.  Save up, spend the money, get good tires.

Don’t tailgate. Even with good tires and all wheel drive, you really think you can stop on a dime on the snow, or worse, the ice?  Seriously?  This might be a lesson you need to learn but if you don’t want to rear-end the car in front of you, give yourself some room between you and the car ahead.  Unless you really like to give extra money to your insurance company.

Don’t speed. Stay in the flow of traffic.

Don’t go really, really slow, either, you know, like 10 miles an hour.  That can be just as dangerous. You will end up with a long wad of traffic with angry drivers behind you. If you’re going uphill, you really do need to keep some momentum going up.

Get your car in shape.  Keep your windshield washer reserve full.  Tires inflated.  You might want to keep a small shovel in the trunk.  Act like a boy or girl scout and be prepared.

When driving in the Sierras in the winter, unless you have 4 wheel drive with snow tires, you are required to carry chains or cables.  If you are planning on coming up, check out the road conditions through the CalTrans site, www.dot.ca.gov/cgi-bin/roads.cgi

Pay attention, drive defensively, and you’ll be fine.  You may not be able to control how other people drive, but with a little caution, you can get from here to there in one piece.

Enjoy the snow!