Warm-Up Winter Driving Skills


Winter Driving Tip #1:  Don’t use the wind as an alternative to snow brushes and ice scrapers.  Get off your lazy behind and remove the snow from your car before you hit the highway.

So, yeah, the meteorologists were right.  We got dumped on a couple of days ago.  The first significant snowfall of the season and now drivers in these parts are being forced to warm-up their winter driving skills after a long hibernation.

Unfortunately, many motorists I followed yesterday morning must have overslept or couldn’t remember where they stored their brushes because I got pummeled with sheets of snow courtesy of people accelerating to speeds in excess of 80 mph.

Do you really need a reminder to brush off your car after a snow storm?

If so, you may find these other winter driving tips to be useful as well:

Slow down:  No one cares that you have a fancy 4-wheel drive vehicle.  Don’t drive 85 mph when roads are covered with snow and ice.  Newsflash:  Four-wheel and all-wheel vehicles do not stop or steer better on ice.

Use your headlights:  The sun sets in the Midwest before 5 p.m. these days.  Don’t forget to use your headlights when driving at dawn and dusk.

Do not use cruise control:  When roads are ice-covered and slick, it’s not a good idea to use cruise control, especially if you are not leaving extra room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.  Remember, the larger the vehicle, the longer the stopping distance.

Watch out for snowplows:   Some states have laws against passing snowplows.  Keep in mind that snowplow drivers have a limited field of vision. Stay at least 15 car lengths behind a snowplow when it is in use.

Avoid skidding:  Hitting the accelerator will send your car into a skid as quickly as jamming on the brakes.  If your vehicle does skid, steer in the direction the car’s back end is traveling to recover traction and straighten out.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.