Ask Molly: Driving in the Snow
By Molly Brauch
Hey Molly, It’s my first year driving to school, and I’m terrified of driving in snow! Any tips?
The first snow of the season always incites a certain type of panic in the Cincinnati community. Even the most experienced drivers suddenly seem to revert back to permit-holding fifteen year olds when it comes to driving in the snow. For those students who claim to be expert drivers during the winter, well done. For everyone else, there is hope.
The main problem with driving during the winter isn’t snow. Although the pretty white landscape is distracting, it isn’t as half as dangerous as what drivers can’t see. That’s right; the biggest issue with winter driving is ice on the roads. Personally, ice doesn’t scare me, because I make it a point to drive at least five, if not ten, miles per hour slower after winter precipitation. Still, I couldn’t help but notice two accidents on my fifteen-minute drive to school yesterday.
According to Weather.com, there are several things you can do to make driving in winter conditions easier. Instead of flooring the brakes every time you need to stop, pump them gently. If your rear wheels skid, turn your steering wheel in the direction that you want to car to go, because the rear wheels will always follow the front ones. Know how to use the lower gears on your car, as those will come in handy on hills. And possibly most importantly, make sure your line of vision isn’t obstructed by snow on the windshield, and use your headlights in dim conditions.
People tend to freak out after a snowfall, and that causes more collisions than you think. There’s a difference between being cautious and being petrified, and frankly, if you’re scared to drive in the snow, don’t do it. Driving while attempting not to hyperventilate out of sheer terror isn’t safe for you, anyone in your car, or anyone else on the roads.