Saturday, December 13, 2008

Driving (in) Snow

It's snowing here in Seattle, and it's beautiful:


My sweetie, however, is a California girl, so our second winter in God's Country, I gave her three rules for driving in snow. I thought I'd pass them on, to lessen the chance that someone injures me in the next few days.

  1. Make no sudden moves. This has a lot of corollaries: give yourself extra time to get where you're going; pay more attention to what's going on, so you can stop more gradually.
  2. Don't stop on a hill. Sometimes this means altering your route to avoid hills. When I was a kid, we lived on badly-built hill that forked half way up, with the right branch sloping, so people who drove on the right inevitably slipped to the right, they'd stop, try to start back up, and slip back into the crook of the branch, and we'd have to get out and push them out. When I learned to drive, I drove up that hill on the left, with a prayer.
  3. If you start to skid, steer toward where you want to go. When I was growing up, front-wheel drive was a New Thing, and folks made it sound like it was different for front-wheel than for rear-wheel drive. It's not. They just tell it to you differently ("steer into the skid", which confuses people).

That's it.

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