I just looked at the weather forecast for west Georgia , northern Alabama and Tennessee for the next ten days, and shocked to see that ugly four letter “S” word on there for two days in a row! I know that those of you who live in places like Montana, and Colorado, and Nebraska are probably laughing at me right now. But you just don’t understand. We got snow so infrequently that when we do get it, people don’t know how to drive in it. We weren’t supposed to have snow down here. At least I don’t think so.
So, here are some tips for my fellow southerners for driving in inclement weather. From snow, to black ice, to heavy rain, to tornados, we need to learn how to get from here to there when Mother Nature has a hissy fit!
First, let me say that if the authorities on the news and on The Weather Channel say to stay at home, then you really should listen to them.
What to do when driving in snow:
- If you really have to go out when it snows, do these things:
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Take it easy when you start up and when you get ready to stop.
- Slow down. Drive slowly. Driving slower helps you keep better control if you start to skid or spin out.
- Keep a bag of sand or kitty litter and a small shovel in your trunk in case you get stuck in snow. Don’t push on the gas pedal if you are stuck. Get out of the car and move the snow out from in front of the tires. Pour sand or kitty litter under the tires. Get back in the car, and press lightly on the gas pedal , and slowly back up a little, then go forward a little, rocking the car back and forth, until the tires get traction and you can drive off.
- Leave at least three car lengths between your car and the car in front of you.
- If you start to skid, take your foot off the gas, and do not hit the brakes. Slowly turn the steering wheel in the direction you want the car to go.
- If you are driving in mountainous terrain and there is significant snow, use tire chains. The chains help give your tires traction on the slippery snow and ice.
All of these things will hopefully help you get home safely, but wouldn’t it be much better to just stay home and have a cup of hot chocolate?