It is getting closer to that time of year again where road conditions will be a toss up.
I am not an expert on all weather but I have had extensive training from my father on how to drive in the snow.
He grew up in Montana and learned how to drive in the snow when he was very young.
If you didn’t know how to drive in the snow in Montana you were practically useless.
That message was instilled in me too even though I have lived in New Mexico my entire life and the most snow we have ever had was in 2021 when the weather was causing ice as thick as a mattress on the roads.
Luckily, what my dad taught me prepared me for that awful day.
There are a few things you need when going out to drive in the winter. Those are a shovel, a red solo cup and a map.
The shovel is to dig up dirt to throw under your tires for traction.
The solo cup is to scrape ice off the windshield if you don’t have a scraper. It can be very handy. DO NOT throw hot water on a frozen windshield…it will break.
The map is just in case your google maps don’t work. Which if I am being honest, people are too reliant on these days.
Now, when you are driving there are a few tricks to avoid spinning out. This can happen anywhere on a road, not just on a hill.
First, RPMs are your best friend on slippery roads. If you keep the rotations between 1,000 to 2,000 the chances of slipping are smaller. Fast acceleration can cause problems and traction is lost in those scenarios.
Second, the direction you turn to correct yourself is not what you think it is. When you spin out the backside of the car fishtails and you loose control. If you turn away from the skid the car will start to spin and you will crash.
The better option is to slowly turn into the skid and make sure the front of the car stays in front.
So if you start to skid and feel the car’s rear sliding left you would turn left to get the front in front. If it is a skid right you turn right. The important thing is to not jerk the wheel when you feel yourself sliding.
As they teach in driving school, it is important to keep at least a couple of car links space between you and the car in front. The other thing is to not stop on an icy road. Keep slow motion even if it is a red light or a stop sign. If you stop and can’t get traction again, that shovel I mentioned earlier comes in handy.
The last advice I can give, is to not freak out in snowy and icy conditions. If you aren’t paying attention an accident will indefinitely happen.