Advice Things that piss me off Winter

How To Drive in the Winter

February 3, 2011
winter driving

With half the country covered in snow it’s time to, once again, explain how to drive on snow covered roads.

As a Minnesota blogger who happens to drive occasionally I feel it is my duty to share with you the winter driving rules as I see them.

These winter driving tips should be self evident but apparently they are not because I manage to drive behind dumbasses every freaking day.

Emergency Preparedness

Be sure to have a first aid kit in your car as well as a blanket, extra clothing, some granola bars and a flashlight. Keep your gas tank full if possible and make sure you have wiper fluid. If you frequent urban areas make sure you have a pocket knife or some way to protect yourself, people have had enough of winter. It used to be that winter brought out the best in all of us but at this point people have had it and might just rob you if you get stuck in the snow.

Brush off your vehicle

This should go without saying. If you can’t see out of your windows you are going to have a tough time seeing the other cars on the road. You will also have a really difficult time seeing any pedestrians. In addition to not being able to see you are also causing the car behind to be blinded by the snow that blows off your car and on to their’s. Think!

Don’t Tailgate

The roads are slick and wet, sometimes really icy, so unless you want to increase your car insurance premium for the next few years, you want to drive a rental and you want to really piss me off, get back and stay back. If you rear end me it is your fault. Period. It doesn’t matter if I am talking on my phone, applying mascara and drinking my morning latte, it’s still your fault so back off.

Rock the Car

This is not a euphemism for sex but it can be fun. If you find yourself stuck gunning the engine is only going to get you more stuck and the spinning tires are going to melt the snow into ice ensuring your will never get out without someone pushing you out. To rock the car you put the car in ‘drive’ or ‘reverse’ and slowly release the brake. When you have moved in desired direction about two inches put the car in the opposite direction and again slowly depress the brake. Keep doing this until you have established some momentum and then, when you move more that a foot in one direction, you can start giving it a little gas. If this process doesn’t work get out of your car and look helpless if you are woman. If you are a man get out of the car and push the vehicle yourself, be sure to keep the driver’s side door open so you can hop back in. If you are lucky someone will come along and offer to help push while you drive. Probably me because helping a person push their car out of being stuck is good karma. One day it will be paid back.

Parking

Don’t park in front of people’s walkways. This should also be self evident but there is, without fail, always some idiot who parks in front of my house, right in front of the walkway we have spent the whole winter carving out. I don’t mind if you park in front of my house, I have a garage so I don’t need to park there, but sometimes other people drive and when you block my exit from the sidewalk to the street I have to walk halfway around the block to get to the street. Are you really that selfish and self centered? Get over it, you aren’t the only person in the world.

Park as close to the side of the street as possible. The roads are already narrow enough because our fair city doesn’t know how to plow properly so if you are parking on a city street make sure you leave enough room for other cars to pass. If you are parking on a side street where many other cars are parked try not to park directly across from a car on the other side of the road. Cars have to weave in and around parked cars when oncoming traffic is heavy. Unless you want your mirrors taken off or your car sideswiped don’t park directly across from another parked car.

Bicyclists

What the hell are you riding your bike for in the middle of winter? Did you not get the memo? It’s fucking winter outside! Go back home, put your bike in the garage, put on some long pants and drive your car. If you can’t do that at least ride your bike on the sidewalk and stay off the road. It may not seem like it but I really don’t want to kill you. Nothing will make my day worse than being responsible for your death because you had to ride your stinking bike to work.

Pedestrians

My car weighs a lot more than you do. A lot more. I can’t stop, especially on snowy, icy roads, as fast as you seem to think I can. That means that you should not dash out in the middle of the block, where I am not expecting you, to cross the street to get your morning latte. Cross at the crosswalk and both of us will have a much happier day. That also means you should walk on the sidewalks with the bicyclists.

According to some furry little rodent who did not see his shadow this year, we will have an early spring. I have three feet of snow outside my window so even if we reached 32 degrees every day, the snow still wouldn’t melt until May. That isn’t early as far as I am concerned. People are tired of winter, people are irritated with winter. People have short fuses because of winter. Do your part and don’t be a dumbass on the road.

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