View Full Version : Driving in the Snow

May 31st, 2004, 02:04
I'm from Northern California- but not from an area that snows.
I've found some helpful info on the link below, but have no first-hand experience driving in snowy conditions.

Any additional tips/personal stories to what's posted below are appreciated.



May 31st, 2004, 02:40
Best advice:
Go slow. (This will solve almost all problems)
Allow extra time to stop for stopsigns and lights.
Know whether your car has antilock brakes, so you know if you need to pump the brakes if you slide. (Antilock- no pump)
Know whether your car has four wheel, front wheel, or rear wheel drive as all react differently when you slide.
Remember...sliding is not bad, it can be fun! People's first reaction is to panic and overcompensate by jerking the wheel to the other side, which is what makes accidents. Keep your wheels pointed where you want them to go, if you slide to the right and you overcompensate by jerking the wheel to the left, as soon as you come out of the slide you'll go right into other lanes of traffic or off the road.

On that same site, I agreed most with this:
"A good driver is a smooth driver. On roads with low grip, keep a delicate touch on the steering wheel, accelerator pedal and brake, resisting sudden or sharp moves."
The calmer you are, the less you jerk or make sudden movements, the less you have problems in snow or ice.

Go slow, stay calm, and accelerate and brake softly.

May 31st, 2004, 13:44
Thanks for the advice!

Also, any stories that might encourage my enthusiasm for driving inthe snow would be great. :D

May 31st, 2004, 14:17
Find yourself a big empty snow-filled parking lot, and spin in circles. Uh...yeah...we don't have a lot to entertain ourselves in Iowa.

Oh! And one more. On my way home from school, there had been an ice storm. At the bottom of the hill was a stopsign. I took it really really slow, but on an icy hill, there was nothing I could do, so I bumped the woman in front of me and gave her a dent in her bumper. (This was back when both of our cars still had metal bumpers, and not plastic ones that crack).
She got out of her car, looked at it, and said, "Oh well, that's what bumpers are for." And that was the end of it. No insurance, no police, nothing. We just went home.
So...a year later, when a 15 year old girl out on her school permit put an equal dent in my bumper, I repaid the favor. I said, "Oh well, now my car has character. That's what bumpers are for."

May 31st, 2004, 15:15
Winter: That's what buses and trains are for.

I know several teachers (NON-JET) who park their car for the winter and take the train to work every day. They say it isn't worth it to drive.

June 1st, 2004, 02:37
I'm pretty sure I requested a rural or suburban area. And trains and buses might not be an option, especially depending on how many sites I'll have to teach at.

Besides, I'd rather know now than slide off off the road later (or bump into someone's fender). :wink:


June 1st, 2004, 15:40
The "drive slow" tip is the best one you can have for driving in snow. Also, if you are a road rage person, if you like to tailgate, or if you just feel the need to get right up close to the car in front of you so you can read their pretty bumper stickers, either break yourself of that habit pronto, or don't drive in the snow. You're just asking to have your car slide right into the car in front of you if they decide to stop (and it doesn't even have to be all that sudden if it's really slippery out).

But really, driving in the snow isn't so bad. It's just a matter of remaining calm and driving really deliberately. I've been doing it since I started driving, and I'm still here to talk about it. Though in my experience, the worst thing is black ice- that's harder to see, and ice is always much worse to drive on than snow. At least with snow you can sometimes get traction- that's much harder with ice.

Oh, and not driving-related, but don't forget to invest in some salt to salt down your driveway, front stoop, whatever- stepping out of your nice warm car only to fall butt-first in a puddle of dirty driveway snow is really unpleasant.

- Faustus (who lives in Maine and loves listening to all the warm weather people worrying about snow and cold weather- welcome to my world, folks :P )

June 1st, 2004, 18:34
Haha, we dont get snow in south England very much, but last time we did, the whole town shut down (ARRGG, 2 inches of snow, its a BLIZZARD).

I was driving home (very slowly) and came to a steep hill (not salted or gritted yet). I slowed down to a virtual stop, and started crawling down it. Then my wheels slipped, and i started speeding up.... I looked ahead, and there was a parked car on the corner where the road turned at the bottom of the hill. Since I'd be doing about 30mph by the time i hit that nice shiny new car, i just turned and crashed into the verge instead. Oh well, thats what verges are for.


June 1st, 2004, 23:11
Not sure if this was mentioned...... 4-wheel drive does not mean 4-wheel stop. Sounds silly, but it's true.

Additionally, don't use cruise control in snow or rain. If you start to hyro plane or slide on ice, your vehicle will increase the speed of the wheels since you're decreasing but it needs to stay at the set speed. If you then catch pavement, you can easily flip the car.... Scary stuff.


June 2nd, 2004, 02:31
I got in a 34 car pile-up last winter on the way home from work. Fortunately, I just got a scratch on my bumper. The worst part was waiting for all the ambulances, etc to do their job, then we had to move to a parking lot for a cop to get our info. We waited in the snow for an hour just for the cop to hand out papers and tell us to exchange info on our own.

Oh, and for driving, everything IowaJET said is perfect. I can't reiterate enought about the anti-lock brakes though. If you have them, DO NOT pump your brakes!!!!! Oh, and go slow... if I had gone slower, I wouldn't have been in that accident.