Unfortunately, this scene, which happened in 2011 on Route 93 near Salem, NH, is not photo shopped.
Winter 2015 has been relentless in the Northeast (am I right, Beantowners!?) and even the Mid Atlantic and Southeast have been visited by Frosty the Snow Machine in February. Along with the snow and ice come new and unnecessarily exciting times behind the wheel for veteran and newbie snow(auto)mobilers alike.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has compiled data on the risks of this type of winter activity. According to the FHWA, the numbers are staggering. Between 2002 and 2012, 23% (approx. 1,312,000) of all auto crashes were weather related. Of those weather related crashes, approximately 540,000 involved snow and/or ice on the pavement.
So what are the top 10 ways to avoid snow related driving nightmares? Other than moving to Key West for the winter???…
#1: Stay home. Enjoy some quality time in front of the fire with old (or new) friends
#2: (see #1)
#3: Drive slower than your grandmother does in the summer.
Cliché, but true: speed kills. Plus your car or truck brakes will likely ignore you when you touch them with snow on the ground.
#4. Don’t follow too closely.
(See #3 about your brakes)
#5: Don’t slam on your brakes.
Sensing a pattern here ? Your brakes will break up (see what I did there…) with you during snowstorm driving. The great communication that used to exist between the two of you during sunnier days will yield to reactions ranging from just ignoring you to rebelling against you. You just can’t trust ’em when the snow sticks on the ground; you have to take baby steps with your brakes, and go slowly, and hope to repair the relationship as you go down the road.
#6. If do you start to skid, release the hounds!
And by hounds, I mean the brakes. If you have room to let the car naturally decelerate, do it until you can regain control. If you are going to hit something soon, pump the brakes (1 second on, 2 seconds off) until you are able to steer again.
#7: Don’t travel alone.
Why? because someone has to push the car when it gets stuck, that’s why.
#8: Make sure you have a mobile phone, with a car charger, in the car.
If you get stuck, or worse, the ability to reach help is essential.
#9 If you think you need new tires, make sure they are on the car before Thanksgiving.
NOTHING worse than bald tires on snow and ice in terms of controlling your vehicle.
#10 Make sure the old jalopy is ready for winter.
Get new windshield wipers, see #9, and make sure that your windshield wiper fluid is full. If you have experienced the sinking feeling (as I have) of calling on the wiper fluid, and getting the “eeeeh” empty fluid motor sound, then you know how important it is to replenish your precious automobile fluids.
With preparation, and practice, you will become a better snowtime driver. If something does go wrong, call Favaloro Law Offices for a free consultation. You can reach us 24/7 at 757.708.5720, 0r at 757.390.4370 during office hours. And hey, if you are stuck, and we are nearby, will help push you out of that snowbank.