The PONY'TUDE Guide To Driving In Winter Weather
|Motorists of the North East United States: Please learn to drive.|
You'd think that by now the motorists of Pennsylvania and New Jersey would have figured out how to drive in the snow, ice, and slush.
They have not.
And so I present to you my winter driving tips and tricks. I'm no champion race car driver, but I do know how to drive in bad conditions, and I'd like to share my wisdom with you all. Don't be that moron that gets stuck in a ditch.
- Drive an appropriate vehicle. If your only option is a low-slung sportscar or something with rear-wheel drive, just stay home when the weather's bad. The best option is a truck or SUV with four-wheel drive, but you can get around just fine in an average front-wheel drive sedan with decent tires.
- DON'T PANIC. Seriously. Just chill out. If you feel your car start to slip or fishtail, TAKE YOUR FOOT OFF THE PEDAL. Any pedal. Do not touch the pedals! If you panic and mash the gas OR the brakes, your car will probably spin out and you will be the moron in a ditch. Once the car straightens itself out, gently accelerate and go on your merry way.
- Along the same lines... slow and steady wins the race. Don't make any big moves when conditions are slippery. Accelerate and brake gradually. If you don't, please see the above re: moron in a ditch.
- When it comes to steep snow-covered hills, go slowly and DON'T STOP. Your momentum is what keeps your vehicle climbing the hill, and if you come to a complete stop, you may not be able to get going again. This makes everyone behind you really upset. So please, when faced with snowy hills, just keep going!
- If you have four-wheel drive, good for you! Don't use it on roads that are only wet or a little slushy - this is bad for your vehicle. 4WD is, however, a great help in deep snow or slush when you need some extra traction. But 4WD does not give you the permission to drive like a complete jerk. If you go flying down the road above the speed limit in slippery conditions, even with 4WD you WILL end up... the Moron In A Ditch.
- Take it easy and take your time. Trying to drive your normal speed in snow, slush, and ice is counter-productive and just plain stupid. Accept the fact that you'll get there when you get there, and don't go so fast that you feel your vehicle is on the verge of being out of your control.
- When getting out of a parking space covered in ice/snow/slush (i.e. generally anywhere you happen to park on a farm), be gentle on the gas pedal. Anything more than a love tap can result in your tires spinning uselessly on the ice, so be patient and pull out gradually, allowing your tires to grip what they can.
- If you truly do not feel confident in your abilities to navigate winter road conditions, just stay home! Better safe than sorry.
This has been The PONY'TUDE Guide To Driving In Winter Weather. What are your best winter driving tips?