Winter driving, ready or not

I see that Meteomedia is forecasting 20-25 centimeters of snow between now and tomorrow afternoon. It’s going to be nice to look at the city with a fresh winter shine. Have you changed your tires yet? I resisted and really wanted to believe that All season tires included winter. Thankfully, long time denizens and drivers here knocked some sense into me. You’re going to have an accident, they said. You’re going to get stuck, they warned. So I bit the bullet last week and got some brand new winter tires on the car. This will be my first winter behind the wheel, and I really don’t know what to expect. I feel pretty safe with my $500 tires, for that price, they better be. Any other tips you’d like to pass along to a rookie winter driver?

5 Comments so far

  1. mare (unregistered) on November 21st, 2007 @ 3:51 pm

    Get one of those expandable shovels and keep it in your car in case you park somewhere before a snowstorm and have to dig yourself out.
    Adapt your speed to the circumstances and watch out for busses and trucks that don’t adapt their speed (they’re heavy and on a schedule) and can whose slipstream can push you off the road.
    If you make longer travels be prepared and put a survival kit in your glove compartment/in your car: some candles (1 candle can keep the temperature in your car above freezing), a sleeping bag, a flashlight, some food and candybars and maybe a small propane stove and lighter with a pot to melt snow. If you can’t access your trunk from within the car put it on the back seat. This all in case you end up in a ditch during a major snowstorm. It can take a looooong time before the emergency crews/tow truck get to you, and you are probably not the only one that bounced of the road. Don’t leave your car.

  2. vanou (unregistered) on November 21st, 2007 @ 4:28 pm

    Yeah, go to an empty parking lot and have fun with those new tires… test them out!

  3. RS (unregistered) on November 21st, 2007 @ 6:19 pm

    Watch out for other drivers during the first storm. People seem to flip out about it even here where you’d think they’d remember last year.

    If you street park, a shovel is essential.

  4. RS (unregistered) on November 21st, 2007 @ 6:25 pm

    Oh, and whether all-seasons work or not depends on the tire and the car too, as well as how low the temps get. I got away with it last year but I drive a jeep and it was a warm winter. This year I went ahead and changed to winter tires. My regular tires were getting thin and 2 warm winters in a row is too much good luck to believe in. :)

  5. Justin (unregistered) on November 21st, 2007 @ 8:52 pm

    Good move. It’s insane to drive in this city without winter tires. People who own SUV’s or Jeeps or AWD cars who think they don’t need winter tires are kidding themselves. The 4×4 or AWD may help you to get out of snowbanks but it’ll do nothing for you when it’s time to stop. ABS brakes or not.

    My only piece of advice to you is to keep your distance. Don’t drive too close to anyone and brake much more in advance then what you are used to.

    …and of course reduce your speed. You’ll be fine. Good Luck!

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