There are many exciting occasions that typically come with the winter: Thanksgiving, Black Friday, the Holiday season, that weird week between Christmas and New Year’s where everything has slowed down—these are all things to look forward to when November and December come rolling around the corner. However, just like the Holiday seasons are expected to come, so is snow. If you live in an area that welcomes snow every year, then you’re well-aware of how the general public reacts to it: people rush to the grocery store, scrambling for the essentials (milk, bread, eggs, a lot of alcohol), and everyone hurries home to wait for the snow to come. It’s exciting the first few hours; however, the excitement dies down almost as quickly as it arrived, especially once you realize that you still have obligations that require you to get behind the wheel.
Picking a car that is equipped to handle the snow is typically a good way to start. Cars with 4WD are usually a popular choice when you factor in driving through snow and ice, but regardless of whether you’re behind the wheel of an AWD, FWD, or 4WD, safety should always be your priority and it is still 100% possible for the best-vehicle to spiral out of control while on an icy road. Getting a car that is highly recommended for such conditions does not mean that you’re free to travel ice and snow-covered streets at the normal speed.
When driving in snow and ice, remember these three points: remain alert, slow down, and stay in control. Another great way of preparing your car for winter is to have all maintenance checks done before the weather changes. This means to go have someone check out your tires, brakes, tire pressure, oil, windshield wipers, heater/defroster, and everything else. An important item to note is to have your gas tank full; to prevent the gas from freezing in your tank, you should carry at least a half-full gas tank.
If you ever have to leave your house when there’s snow on the ground, make sure you’re well-aware of your car’s braking capabilities. A lot of people get into the habit of stomping down on the brakes when behind the wheel; however, you’re at risk of your brakes locking up, especially if your car doesn’t have ABS brakes. So, if your car does not have ABS brakes and you find yourself in a situation in which you have to apply the brakes hard, pump your brakes. This can be achieved by gently applying and releasing pressure onto your brakes at a moderate pace; if you’re to press down too hard or fast, you could risk slipping and sliding on the ice.
Before making plans to go anywhere, you need to allot yourself an ample amount of time to make it to your destination on time. This means leaving early enough to not only defrost your vehicle (assuming that your car is completely frosted over at this point), but to drive safely. It sounds like a lot of work, but it really helps to consistently dig your car out of piles of snow while the snow is still falling. The same strategy works for digging out your driveway; if you do it often enough, you won’t have to deal with an absurd amount of snow in the long run.