t seems if we have even a short break in winter-like weather, so many drivers forget how to drive sensibly and carefully. I could not believe how many cars were off the road our first snowfall, and it really was not that bad. It’s almost as though we all need to take winter driving renewal classes! And as a mom with two kids that are new winter drivers, it can send me into a panic. They think it’s funny that mom wants a text when they get to their destination or when they are leaving for home. But it’s a requirement! I also want to know the route they are taking so if they don’t get home in a reasonable time, we can look for them. If my husband or I need to go a distance, we do the same with each other. It’s just a safe accountability rule for us.
Recently I had to chase down one of my daughter’s boyfriends as he was leaving our driveway with her. He had only cleared the front windshield of the car. The rest of the windows were filled with snow! He said he was about to put the automatic windows up and down, yet the back window was still covered. So he heard an earful especially since my daughter was in his care! It’s always important when getting ready to leave that all the windows are cleared of snow and ice, along with the side mirrors. Then, once you get on the road, test it to see how it is. Don’t just go by looks.
One of the worst things during the winter season we always need to be aware of black ice. It’s so easy to catch us off-guard and off we go sliding and it’s hard to do the right thing in a panic. Our first instinct is to brake, but we are suppose to get our foot off the gas pedal and turn into the direction of the skid without slamming the brakes. Yes, this is easier said than done! When we know the roads are icy it’s easier to take the right actions, such as driving slowly, driving off to the right some so your tires might catch more stable ground, and staying far enough behind the car in front and then when coming to stop signs, and red and yellow lights, well ahead of time, slow down and gently put your foot off and on the brake until you come to a complete stop.
If possible, when schools are closed and there are warnings of bad roads, try to stay home. Cancel appointments and rearrange your schedule. Many times a job does not allow for this so then the best way to handle icy roads is to drive slowly and cautiously. Leave plenty of room between your car and the car in front of it, and gently brake for stop signs and red lights ahead of time. Try to avoid slamming on the brakes, too, because it could lead to skidding. And beware of ice on bridges, overpasses, and seldom-used roads.
Driving defensively is a major key all the time, but more so in the winter. Of course this includes ALWAYS wearing your seatbelt and making your passengers to do so also. Keep blanket and fire flares in your car for emergencies, along with cat litter to help you get out of an icy area. Encourage family members to drive carefully and be accountable to each other and aware what the other is doing. It’s worth saving your life and your families.
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