It’s painful to watch. And sadly, if you drive, you’ve likely found yourself in a similar sitch. The video reminds us, when we’re behind the wheel of a two-ton automobile and freezing rain or snow come between the car and the road, we have no control.
Here in Minneapolis, the first real snow of the season brings out the crazy in residents. The Twin Cities received its first stay-for-the-season kind of snow fall on Friday. Three people died in weather-related car accidents that very evening after only an inch or so of snow covered the roads.
But as cooler temps worked their magic chilling the ground since mid-November, the snow no longer melts on contact. The tires pack it down, make it slippery and leave us all to our own creation…and demise, sadly.
It’s now Sunday morning and snowing again. Driving in snowy conditions requires expertise and attention. Weather.com offers some suggestions for safe driving when it snows. Here are a few driving tips as a refresher:
- Put away distractions. Cell phones, books, Big Macs and Big Gulps should not occupy your attention when driving in poor weather conditions.
- Slow down. You’re driving a ton or two of metal making you the detonator of a gas-powered missile.
- Triple the usual distance between you and the car in front of you. It could be driven by a 16-year-old numb skull with no winter weather driving expertise.
- Don’t park along the street (note video above).
- If the car you’re driving skids, steer into the skid. If the back of your car is skidding to the left, for example, turn the steering wheel to the left.
- Apply brakes lightly when stopping. Don’t pump the brake and avoid pressing them until the wheels lock up.
- Keep the headlights on, keep snow and ice off side view mirrors and refill windshield wiper fluid frequently.
- Wear the seat belt.
- Keep tires inflated to the recommended level.
- Check tires for wear and tear. Replace tires before the snowy season, if needed.
- Don’t assume the vehicle can handle any road conditions. A 4X4 on ice or hard-packed snow has no better traction than a tricycle.
Of course, the best advice of all: If you don’t have to drive…don’t. Why give the Grim Reaper your address and phone number?