It snowed last night, three to four inches worth, and this morning is bright and sunny and cold (13F or -10C). After shoveling the walks and driveway, I headed out for a last shop. We’ve had an exceptionally mild autumn, with very little snow, so today’s outing was an opportunity to remember driving techniques for snow and ice.
Mild is a good word to use here. Be mild in many actions: turning, braking, accelerating. In most cases, less is more. Start into a turn, and then let momentum and the slippery surface carry you through. Corrections when slipping seem more effective when small.
Driving speed in snow and ice is truly a place to go mild rather than wild. So often, I see people in 4-wheel drives barreling along at high speed on icy roads, deluded by their 4 wheel drive. Yes, its very helpful for traction while driving. No, its not helpful for stopping, and with higher speeds, stopping distances increase, as do the distances when stopping on snow or ice. Around here, the common traffic citation for accidents is driving too fast for conditions.
I’m not a slowpoke in general when I drive, and when it snows, I err on the mild side. I’ll keep my wildness for another venue.