10 thoughts on “Driving In Snow”

  1. I used to think of driving on snow as just another winter sport along with skiing and skating. If you don’t enter a curve in a dirt track-racer slide, you aren’t doing it right was my motto.

    But I guess with age, I don’t skate any more, do little cross-country let along downhill skiing, and I am more open to spousal counsel to “refuse missions” when there is too much snow on the ground.

    You see, it isn’t just my driving skills on the line, it is all of those other people without the same number of lessons in the different winter sports.

    As weather forecasts keep getting better with technology and as I get older and more married, I guess I am content staying home rather than showing off my driving skills. Maybe that’s why age and male marital status count towards lower insurance rates . . .

  2. Not sure his advice is as useful in the kind of blizzard conditions we just had here, plus if your “regular-ass car” has a 1 foot clearance, can you really learn how to drive in 30 inches of snow?

    1. Yeah, you’d practically need a monster truck for that. Since I only have a Mazda 5, I made sure to buy all the supplies I needed before the storm, then hunkered down for the duration. There wasn’t any place I needed to go that badly.

      I second Rand’s recommendation for practicing in an empty parking lot. My dad did that when he was teaching me to drive, and today I’m pretty confident in my ability to drive in normal levels of snow, at least. I’ve gotten stuck a few times, but haven’t had any accidents due to snow. I only get storms like last weekend’s about once a decade or so.

      I always say that the key is to have a delicate touch on the steering, gas, and brake, like you’re walking on eggs.

  3. I found that another useful training aid in skid avoidance (somewhat) and recovery (mostly) was found on a go-kart track near my workplace that was monitored by a rather indifferent young man and frequently used only by myself and two coworkers.

    Our favorite pastime was to go all “NASCAR” and attempt to spin each other out. The mindset and reaction time needed to keep going forward was quite helpful when inertia replaced slightly insane coworkers.

  4. I was in my 20’s before I had to drive in snow the first time. I found it very easy, which surprised me. I’m even more comfortable with it now due to living in snow country (elevation 7000).

    Why was I comfortable with it the first time? Because I’d long been into offroad 4-wheeling. It helps, and I strongly recommend it as practice for snow if snow isn’t handy. (Sand is a very good stand-in IMHO)

    Also, carry chains, always. I have a set under my SUV’s seat, all year round. (They also help if stuck in mud or sand).

  5. Forget driving slowly in snow. Up here in the suburbs of Seattle, when it snows people abandon their vehicles in the middle of the road and wander around like frostbound zombies. I wish this were an exaggeration but I witnessed it with my own two eyes one sad evening as I was trying to navigate my way home from work amid a labyrinth of abandoned vehicles and stupefied pedestrians.

  6. I agree with learning to drive off-road. That’s basically where I learned to drive, and it served me well going to college in Colorado. Only had one spinout, in a sharp switchback, downhill, on an icy road, going about 10 mph when I was about 20. Luckily no damage, and good lessons all around.

Comments are closed.