How To Drive In Snow.

Respect The Elements...

Greetings all and so nice to be here again.

Winter is here for most of the continent and with winter and driving, there are some things you should be aware of.

I am 55 -- OK...a 'geezer' if you will...however, I've NEVER been in an accident. Never. Why? Because I have respect...

I've been driving a vehicle since I was 16 years old. Learned 'the old way' and over the years, have learned something else...the elements, and especially winter, ALWAYS win. You don't stand a chance unless you play by THEIR rules.

Being in charge of a motorized vehicle assumes certain things; namely, it's a "PRIVILEDGE", and NOT a "RIGHT". You have NO right to speed -- you have NO right to drink 'n' drive -- you have NO right to play with a moving coffin -- you have NO right to "PLAY" with thousands of pounds of force. You have NO rights to anything -- you have a 'LICENSED PRIVILEDGE' to operate a vehicle in the proper manner.

When it comes to dealing with the elements, you're gonna lose everytime. You simply HAVE to respect their impact on your driving capabilities. As mentioned, I've been driving for roughly forty years and have a five star, A+ rating as I have had no accidents at all. Couple of warnings that were never recorded (very minor) and my abstract will come up perfectly clean.

I respect the elements, and other drivers whom I meet in the same situations.

I have always lived in a snowbelt and if this Hub is being read by my friends in the USA who are not so accustomed to snow, then I hope you might learn a few things about driving in snow. It's a killer -- no question, IF you don't know HOW to do it properly.

Winter driving brings with it a whole new driving experience and these days, especially with snows and ice in the southern parts of the USA that rarely GET that might want to pay attention. For crying out loud, they had snow in Rosenberg, Texas, a while back and this was close to a revelation for those people who have basically never seen snow. It's one thing to play with it, it's ANOTHER thing to drive in it. It can be a killer.

First thing: Be prepared with the proper tires. You GOTTA have the right tires for driving. Here in Eastern Canada, where we've been subjected to years and years of heay snows and ice in all shapes and forms, the proper tires on a vehicle are the norm in order to cope.

What is nice, is all-wheel drive (torque on all four tires) and you MIGHT get away all winter long with "all seasons", reason being that you have traction on all four tires. This might sway your buying decision for the next car. The next thing is basically obvious: Snow tires for snow. Their traction is much more advanced and specifically designed for the snow.

Today, most vehicles are front-wheel drive. I still can remember when they were all REAR wheel drive, when you had to add some weight things in the back to balance off the weight of the front with the lighter weight in the back. It gave the vehicle some more stability and able to cope better in winter conditions. However, the problem was in STEERING, where in the olden days and with rear-wheel drive, the steering was adjusted according to the vehicle balance weights (with rear-wheel drive) and you could easily wipe-out if you didn't compensate for the rear-wheel push.

So -- WHAT is it that I am trying to say? RESPECT THE ELEMENTS, and especially winter with it's snows and stuff that suddenly arrive at your doorstep. You HAVE to give the elements the advantage because they will always win. You drive into a sudden big thunderstorm with 1.5" of rain in 1/2 hour and the roads turn to a lake -- if you continue to drive, you risk the hydroplane effect, where your tires literally 'SKATE' on water and you lose control. That is pure DEADLY. Pull over, wait it out as best you can, and carry on from there.

Bottom line things from a 'geezer' winter driver:

1. Get the right tires: If you have an all-wheel drive vehicle, then all-seasons MIGHT get you through with no problems. However and with a front-wheel drive unit, it's best to get some 'diggers' for the front, i.e. winter tires. You can probably get away with all-seasons on the back, but would be a great choice for winters on the front.

2. Remember that with front-wheel drive cars, etc., the force is on the FRONT, and not the back. Therefore, if you get into a situation with winter and ice, giving the vehicle some gas and steering straight ahead might help, as the steering AND the force is in front, and not in the back. You simply steer into the problem and give it some gas (in Eastern Canada, we say "Give 'er Some!!") -- when you step on it, the force is in the FRONT, and you simply straighten out and let the vehicle PULL you, as oppose to PUSHING you forward.

3. RESPECT WINTER, and the other elements. You will always lose, bar none. There will always be that patch of ice or snow, or you're going too fast, lose it. The elements always win and you are always second.

4. SLOW DOWN!!!!!!!!!! -- I cannot emphasize this enough. Most accidents are caused by speed and inexperience with the elements. You hydro-plane, spinout on ice and snow, simply because you are going too fast. I always give it a bit of gas, release the gas and brake gently. If I happen to swerve, I immediately take my foot OFF the gas and steer INTO the swerve, as to relieve the swerve and give me time to adjust. Never has been a prob...

5. Be prepared: If you live in a sunbelt, be prepared...THESE days, with ice on the grapefruit and oranges in Florida, and snows in Texas, you just never know WHAT you will run into.

Snow and ice and winter can kill. The BEST thing is tough winter tires on the front and a good tread on the back end. With front-wheel drive cars, etc., IF you give it gas and PULL, it will lead you straight if you come across a problem environmental area.

FCOL: "For Crying Out Loud..., SLOW DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot emphasize this enough. Speed is a huge factor in a lot of accidents where the car or vehicle is not prepared as well as the driver.

RESPECT WINTER and its' ice and snow. Winter ALWAYS won't beat it but you CAN live with it. Trust me, I am 55 and have driven in virtually all situations...simply put, I just take it easy, slow down, brake easy, let the vehicle adjust itself, and gauge from there.

I've NEVER had an accident because I respect the elements. They ALWAYS win...

Hope some of this helps. When I see the news at 6PM of a massive million-car pile-up on Interstate "whatever" in a not-snow-ice-area of the USA, I think that the "times, they are a-changingggggggggggggggg..." as far as the weather is concerned. FCOL (see above), they are getting snow in Texas where it NEVER was before, and ice on my morning grapefruit from Florida.

The "sweet sunny South" is nipping a bit...

Please be respectful of the elements as winter is a killer for sure IF you respect the fact that IT is a winner, and YOU will lose with it.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> SLOW DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

They'll wait...

stay tuned..


More by this Author


No comments yet.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article