If seeing snow covered roads when you head out for work makes your stomach queasy and your palms sweat, you’re not alone. Lots of people are afraid of winter driving like driving on snowy or icy roads. The reasons for that are valid.
- No one wants to be involved in an accident.
- Ice makes roads slick, so stopping is more of a challenge.
- There are many aggressive drivers out there who are undaunted by snow and ice.
So what can you do? One option is to never leave your house during a storm. You can stock up on canned goods and bread, work from home, and chat with your friends via text messages. What you lose by doing this is your independence. When you can’t go and do because you’re afraid of the road conditions, you lose some confidence and freedom. What happens if there is an emergency? What if you NEED to get out and you can’t?
Therefore, a better option if you’re afraid of winter driving is to practice. Surely you have a friend, spouse, or co-worker who is comfortable driving in all types of weather conditions. Have them drive with you to a snowy empty parking lot and start there. Or, if your neighborhood doesn’t have cars parked on the street, make laps around your neighborhood. Get comfortable driving slowly, taking more time to stop, and applying your brakes carefully. Know what to do if you start to skid. Have your helper work with you on demonstrating this (again, in a large empty parking lot where you won’t hurt yourself or others).
Here’s a great video demonstrating how to handle an ice skid:
With these new found skills, start slow. Drive yourself to church or a nearby grocery store when there is snow on the roads. Make a trip to a coffee shop or a friend’s house. At first, stay in areas you’re comfortable with, like your neighborhood. Eventually, with someone else more experienced with winter driving, venture out further away from home onto busier streets.
As for those aggressive drivers? Don’t worry about them. Stay safe, drive slowly, and know how to stop safely. Those aggressive drivers will find their way to where they want to go.
Remember, there are times when it is truly unsafe to drive. Pay attention to alerts from your local DOT, police department or sheriff’s office. Do not drive in blizzards or in any conditions where you cannot see the road or oncoming traffic. The Law Office of Rick Wagner does not condone unsafe driving of any kind. For more winter driving tips, click here.