Winter driving tips (bonus post)

If my last post didn't explain clearly enough, we in the Spokane/Coeur d'Alene area have our first significant snowfall of the year. And the city street crews have done little to nothing to make the road passable. To complicate matters, drivers around here have what I refer to as Collective Seasonal Amnesia (or CSA). CSA is what happens when large portions of the population completely forget how to drive in wintry conditions.

To help you avoid the symptoms of CSA, I present you with the following driving tips.

1. Slow Down.
When the roads are covered with mirror smooth ice, the posted speed limit is probably too fast for the conditions. Just because you can go a certain speed, doesn't mean you should. If you're travelling in a straight line and feel your traction slip, you're going too fast. Drive slower on snow than you would on dry roads.

2. Ease Up.
Use your gas pedal with a gentle touch. Pulling out of your driveway is not the start of a drag race. Leaving a stop sign should be done with care to the ice beneath you, not with the pedal pressed through the floorboards. Ease up off that gas pedal.

3. Ease In.
It takes longer to come to a complete stop on wet roads - even longer on compact snow and ice. Give yourself plenty of room to slow down. Ease into a complete stop. And for the love of all that's good and holy, do not slam on your brakes.

4. Back Off.
You shouldn't tailgate others on dry roads. That rule is truer on ice. If you can not see the treads of the car in front of you, you are following too close. If you can read the speedometer of the person you're following, you're tailgating. You are not a hemorrhoid, get off that person's back end. Back away; give yourself space to stop in case the driver in front of you has to stop.

5. Plan Out.
If you're driving slower, taking more time to start/stop, and giving more space between you and other drivers, your drive is going to take longer. Plan ahead, leaver earlier, and make sure you have enough time to safely reach your destination.

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