As a child, snow is magical. I used to wake up early just to watch the news and see if school was canceled or not and would revel in gaiety once our district announced it was “closed” for the day. Nowadays, I sing a different tune. Oh, I still think snow is magical and all – especially after living in a tropical country for the better part of 10 years – the feeling is much more short-lived.
I never understood why my parents weren’t as excited as I was when we had a winter blast roll through…as an adult I can totally relate. One, I don’t want anything happening to my precious mode of transportation, second, I don’t want anything happening to me in SAID mode o’ transportation, and third, I don’t want to hurt anyone else with my mode of transportation including those within and outside my vehicle.
So, in an effort to keep Springfieldians happier and safer (and with their cars and trucks intact), here are some things you can do to stay safe while driving on snowy and icy roads.
Lifehacks for Driving on Snowy and Icy Roads
- Drive slowly – most slides and fishtails occur when a car is moving above 45 mph.
- Do what you can to avoid hills.
- Pay attention to the weather – this will help you plan and prepare for any icy conditions BEFORE they happen.
- Take roads which have been driven on recently – avoid roads without any tire tracks as they may have ice.
- Know your brakes, and use them lightly!
- WEAR YOUR SEATBELT!
- If you catch a patch of black ice, avoid hitting your brakes and turn the wheels in the direction the rear of your car is sliding – they may catch some traction on the road. Another tip is to look with your eyes where you want the car to go, and turn the steering wheel in that direction.
- If you see someone stranded, don’t stop or pull over, call 911 and let the authorities help them unless they are in immediate danger. The reason is you may make it difficult for drivers behind you to pass, or they may not see you in time and slide into your car. Accidents often happen in multiples!
- Don’t stop if you can avoid it – slamming on your brakes can cause you to slide.
- Keep necessities in your car:
- Kitty litter in case your tires get stuck or can’t get traction on the ice.
- Extra Blankets
- Flashlight and batteries
- Caution signs in case you get stuck
- Ice scraper
- Phone charger
All in all, winter is a magical time of the year, but safety is always a priority (for you, your loved ones and for other Springfieldians)! Stay safe out there Springfield, Mo and stay prepared!