Teens and winter driving….. I have a teen of THAT age; you know… 15 ½… the magic age in AZ where you can get a permit to drive. She enjoyed herself and was doing great… right up until it snowed.
She hasn’t done a lot of driving since it started snowing, though.
It seems that every year the mass public tends to forget how to drive in the snow, at least for the first few times. There are a few that remember, but they are far between.
So, some winter driving tips for my teen, and for those who have forgotten or need a gentile reminder.
First things, first… CLEAN YOUR ENTIRE WINDSHIELD
This is pet-peve of mine. It may take some extra time, but it’s necessary. You need the entire windshield to see the road, the other cars, the pedestrians etc. In the very least clean off where the wipers need to go, as you run the defroster, you’ll need the area clear.
This is not just a suggestion. After a fresh snow it is slicker than snot out there! A car going slow doesn’t need as much space to stop, it’s logic. Let other’s pass you if you don’t feel comfortable “keeping up” with the rest of traffic (provided there are two lanes for that).
DON’T FOLLOW SO CLOSE
Along the lines of slow down, if you need the space to be able to stop, so do the other drivers on the road. Give them space, give yourself space. If someone in front of you starts to slip and slide, you don’t want to be right on their bumper and get caught in their mess.
FOUR WHEEL DRIVE IS NOT FOUR WHEEL STOP
This one was ingrained into my head as a teen! Just cause you have four wheels to help you go, doesn’t mean that it’s the same for stopping. Vehicles only have the brakes on either the front tires or the back, not both. Four wheel drive is good to get one out of a sticky or slippery situation, after that it’s pointless.
CINDERS ARE GOOD AND BAD
This is another one I was told as a teen. Cinders are great, they help with traction, they avoid the destruction that salt can cause. BUT, once the ice is no longer there, and sometimes even if there still is ice, the cinders can act like ball bearings and be almost as slick and tire spinning as the ice was. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve lived where salt is used on the roads – the undersides of vehicles were disgusting because of it; I am very grateful for the cinders, just be careful.
IF YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO OUT, DON’T
Stay home. I love the beauty, the calm, the quiet that comes with a fresh snowfall. I would rather not have to go drive in it though. I would rather stay home in my cozy jammys, under a blanket, watching a movie and drinking a cup of hot cocoa, than drive in the snow. I understand that the kids sometimes still have school, work still has to be done and appointments have to be attended, but wouldn’t it be nice to just close the town and enjoy the snow instead?