Blogs

Driving in Snow and Ice in a Blizzard

December 20, 2014

I remember watching Star Trek and Star Wars as a child, and imagining how awesome it would be to fly through space at such fantastic speeds while stars and galaxies passed you by. The closest thing I’ve ever experienced to having that sensation in the real world has come while driving my vehicle through a snow storm. Snow storms can be hypnotic and calming. They can awaken the inner child within you, causing you to command with your best Captain Jean-Luc Picard impression, “Engage!” before taking off into the unexplored universe that lay before you.  They can also be very dangerous, especially if bad turns to worse, and you find yourself in the middle of a blizzard.

Blizzard

So what options do you have when you do find yourself in the middle of a snow storm? Here are a few tips to keep you safe while you’re driving on the snow.

  • Keep an emergency snow kit in the vehicle at all times with useful items such as a snow shovel, extra warm clothing, road flares, a fully charged cell phone, a survival candle/blanket, and etc…
  • Stay Calm. Nothing will exacerbate the problem worse than losing your cool (pun intended.)
  • Slow down gradually until you’re going at a speed that suits the conditions.
  • Ensure your headlights are on, even if it’s not dark out. It will help other drivers have a better idea of where you are.
  • Watch for other vehicles, and keep an eye out for anyone who didn’t turn on their headlights.
  • Do not stop on the road! Even if the conditions are horrendous. Stopping on the road could lead to major accidents, especially because other drivers probably won’t see you until the last possible moment. If you have to stop, take the next possible exit or only stop where there will be no traffic trying to get by.
  • Try to look as far ahead as possible. Stay alert and attentive. Turn off the radio if it helps you to focus. You’re number one priority remaining aware.
  • If it’s a complete white out, search for the reflective markers on the side of the road, other vehicles, signs, or anything else to give you a point of reference so you can remain on the road and out of oncoming traffic.
  • Don’t attempt to pass slower vehicles, or speed up to accommodate a vehicle following close behind you. Some vehicles following close may want you to go faster, while others are just using you as a point of reference so they don’t get lost in the blizzard and go off the road.
  • If you’re feeling drowsy, which often happens while driving through the hypnotizing snow: sit in an uncomfortable position (one that doesn’t compromise your ability to drive,) listen to music if it helps, talk to someone without getting distracted, or try eating something like sunflower seeds (again, without allowing them to compromise your driving quality.)

Snow

The key to making it through the winter months while driving on snow is keeping your vehicle maintained and ready for any situation. For more information and for all of your automotive repair needs visit our website at Automotive Specialists. And like our Facebook page for special offers today!

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