Watch Your Back – Winter Hazards Are EVERYWHERE!
So, here we are, heading into December again. Perhaps you’ve lived in the Midwest all your life – or at least most of your DRIVING life – and yet we all seem to forget how to drive during the winter. Every. Single. Year. We at Minor Wreck Express would like to give you a quick reminder course so you aren’t “that guy” on the road that everyone else on the road is cursing.
- Slow Down. You most likely are not in a Zamboni and, therefore, are able to fall prey to ice, black ice and slippery slush on the roadways. So decrease your speed, leave earlier than you would in good weather, and make sure you leave plenty of room between you and the car ahead for stopping. Keep in mind that even four-wheel and front-wheel drive cars can get into trouble in icy driving conditions!
- Don’t Be In Such a Hurry. While this may sound like the same thing as #1, it isn’t. Don’t try to pass snow plows and sanding trucks – they can’t see you very well and it’s a safe bet that the roads in FRONT of them are worse than where you are.
- Keep It Smooth. Press steadily and gently on your brakes, don’t jam them to the floor. Keep a light touch on your steering wheel and turn it gently, don’t jerk it to the side. Accelerate steadily, no pedal-to-the-metal business. Although your significant other may appreciate spontaneity, ice does NOT. Smooth, easy, and mellow is the way to play it.
- Know How to Get Out of a Sticky Situation. Sometimes you can’t avoid going into a ditch or getting stuck at the bottom of a hill. Keep calm don’t spin your wheels – flooring it will only dig you in deeper. Turn your wheels from side to side to move the snow out of the way. Try “rocking” your vehicle – shifting from forward to reverse repeatedly, lightly pressing the gas each time – to try to find some traction. It’s also not a bad idea to carry a small shovel and some sand, kitty litter or ice melt in your trunk.
- Wait For Help. For the love of Pete, stay in your car! We can guarantee that you will stay warmer – even in a non-running car – inside than you will outside. Get out to make sure your tailpipe is cleared of snow and debris, to get things out of your trunk, or for short periods of time but in today’s day and age there is very little need to go wandering off through the snow.
- Plan Ahead. We all have extra blankets laying around that aren’t needed on a daily basis – throw a couple into your trunk! While you’re at it, why not spend less than $10 and put a couple bottles of water and some protein bars in your glove box (or somewhere the water might not freeze) just in case you have to sit for more than an hour or two. Oh yeah – those little hand-warmer baggies? Those are cheap and easy to use and can keep you from losing fingertips to frostbite!
These are just a few tips that we think could be helpful, especially during this long holiday season. Minor Wreck Express wants your auto body repair business, but not THAT badly!