Winter Weather Driving Tips

Given the number of intellectually-challenged persons I had to drive around to get home over lunch today1, I figured it was long past time to write up my best winter weather driving tips.

  1. If the weather looks worse than you feel comfortable driving in, then don’t.  Stay home and save the rest of us some headaches.
  2. When the weather is affecting visibility, turn on your headlights.  Yes, this means you mister white SUV speeding down the road with no headlights during blizzard-like driving conditions.
  3. Clean as much of the snow and ice off your car as you can reach.  This does include the roof & hood of your car as well as the windows.  Failure to clear these areas tends to cause the snow/ice to migrate from them to your windows once you get moving, so all that time you spent clearing the windows suddenly has gone to waste.
    • And you were carefully clearing off all your windows and not just a tiny viewport in the front & back windows, right?
  4. Unless the road is 100% clean and clear, double everybody’s stopping distance and not just yours.
    • When you’re thinking about cutting through a yellow light (or red if you have a death wish), just imagine what will happen if your tires lose traction and somebody is coming the opposite way2.

1 My area is currently under a Winter Weather Advisory and a Blizzard Watch.
2 For those of you lacking in imagination, it’s called a car accident.

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I was in a pretty bad mood driving home over lunch today thanks to the people I had to share the road with. I’d add that people shouldn’t forget to use their turn signals just because the road is freaking them out. Seriously, if the roads are bad, why wouldn’t you want to tell me you’re about to cut me off while going half my speed?

Excellent point and one I should have included. Speaking of additional tips that I should have included, I’ve thought of one more, “Shut up and drive!” By which I mean hang up and turn off your cell phone, to better focus on the road.

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