Wednesday, October 8, 2008

2008 Winter Driving - Don't Break the Egg

I admit to my Western Washington upbringing. We don't get snow very often, but guess what? It doesn't take snow for the road to freeze - and those icy temps are coming very soon, maybe even tonight in your neighborhood. The first rule of snow and ice driving? Slow down. And then slow down again.

As luck would have it, my first year as a driver we had snow and lots of frozen roads. And mine was the only car in the family with even front-wheel drive. Mostly, my parents got the car. But, I will never forget that Tuesday night trip to a basketball game at Tiger Gymnasium (or as we call it - Ron's House) with my Dad riding shotgun. It was time for my first snow and ice-driving lesson. Growing up in Colorado, Dad had some experience. "Pretend there's an egg under the pedals," he said. "Don't push too hard on the gas or the brake...or you'll break the egg." That's great advice, as most experts will say either accelerating too much or braking too much is a reason drivers lose control on icy roads. (My Dad also let me spin out in the parking lot a few times just in case I didn't quite believe him.)

I am sure many of you have similar tips for those who just aren't used to driving on ice and snow. We've put together our annual Winter Driving Website and are very thankful that Les Schwab tires helps us distribute our Winter Driving brochure. The brochure should be arriving in the next 5-10 days at your local Les Schwab. You can also download a copy to talk to your kids, spouse, friends or anyone else you think may need a refresher. If you need some hard copies, send me a note and I'll get them to you.

And for those of you with four-wheel or all-wheel drive, please take a few moments to read it also. My parents sent me off to WSU with an old Jeep Cherokee. But, when that first snow hit, in the mailbox came an article Mom cut out from Parade magazine (God bless her) on how to operate that four-wheel drive.

Driving on icy roads is different so be ready. Don't get overconfident. Even the most expensive four-wheel drive SUV is only as good as its driver. And speaking of expensive...ever been in an accident? Those costs add up quick..and then go up again...and again.

What's your best winter driving tip? Leave it in the comments below. Oh, and thanks Mom and Dad.


Anonymous said...

Know your car- what it is and is not capable of. And it's all about steering- slowly and carefully, and also steering out of slides.

Anonymous said...

Think smooth. Quick jerky motions will put you in the ditch. If you are on ice and if you can do it safely, take your car out of gear as you approach a stop sign. Then, as your daddy taught you, very gentle on the brakes.

Anonymous said...

Leave room between you and the car ahead! That will prevent the need to hit your brakes hard most of the time.

Anonymous said...

Ride the bus to work, if you can. The fewer cars on the road, the better.

Anonymous said...

Ban studded tires. Bad for the roads.

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