Katherine Mankiller


Winter Driving Advice for Southerners
January 19, 2008, 5:05 pm
Filed under: life, the universe, and everything

Since Atlanta has decided to be freakish and have winter weather, and since I know I have readers from the frozen north, I thought I’d share my meager knowledge and hope for comments.

Snow:

When I was moving to Virginia, I asked my Mom for driving in the snow advice. (She’s from Michigan.) She said, “Just remember that you can never use your brakes, ever, for any reason, and you’ll be fine.” I interpreted this as meaning I should slow the fuck down and try to coast to a stop. It seemed to work. Do remember, however, that your fellow drivers may not have the benefits of my mother’s wisdom and avoid them accordingly.

Ice:

My mother’s advice times ten. If the ground is a solid sheet of ice you can’t walk on, stay home. No one can drive on that shit, and you don’t need eggs and milk that badly. Besides, they’re already sold out.

Visibility:

Bad visibility scares the crap out of me. If it’s slippery you can slow down, but if you can’t see, you can’t see.

Ice Scrapers:

These probably can’t be had south of the Mason-Dixon line. My mother always used a particularly hated credit card.

The floor is now open for comments, but please remember that we have no snow plows and our “sand trucks” are pickups with sand, shovels, and two DOT guys in the back.


2 Comments

I was looking for info on Celtx for Etch and found your page. Procrastination time it seems.
I live in Montreal. Canada.
We have snow (and ice) as you may know.
I felt like I could give some advice on winter driving.
Yes the brake is something to be afraid of, but not entierly. A nice thing to do is to pump it. You push and remove your feet. Do that over and over until you’re stopped.
Why? What you don’t want is the wheel to lock and so it will start to glide like a skate = because no traction. A spinning wheel has some.
The steering wheel is something to fear too. Do not turn it abruptly. Be a smooth operator :otherwise with the low traction you will turn left and the car will still go straight…
An abrupt increase in speed can have similar effets. So be smooth.
If you are not sure what you are doing and HAVE to take the road, go to a parking lot at a snail’s pace and try to start, stop, and turn. Just check the driving condition with lots of empty space around. This will give you a feel for the real driving conditions. It is a very safe thing to do.
Having winter tires will help SOOO much. If you want to take control of the road in winter, just buy some. Not 4 season shit. Winter tires.
I would also recommand 2 other things that are implicit to what was previously recommanded.
1) Keep more distance with other cars. It is slippery, you can’t stop fast, you need more distance, period.
2) If you can’t see in front of you for a distance equivalent to what is required to stop, then slow the hell down. I don’t care where you are. In bad conditions (wind-ice-snow) experienced drivers can slow down to 20mph on the high-way. But they will get where they are heading and survive to tell about it.
That’s it.

Comment by Serge

Thanks, Serge! I knew I could count on someone knowing more than me!

Comment by k.mankiller




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