There’s another storm going on here in Maine as I write this. On the way home tonight it was snowing pretty hard and the plow trucks hadn’t hit the main roads yet and there was probably four inches of powdery snow covering everything. I was in my Dodge 4×4 plow truck with my family and traveling no faster than 30 or 35 mph for the most part. The truck is well suited for the snow so we were in good shape.
I was following a smaller car down the hill when I noticed him (or her) start sliding into oncoming traffic. There was another plow truck like mine coming right at him and I thought for sure he was going to go head to head with it. I noticed his front wheels were turned left, which meant he was trying to turn into oncoming traffic onto a side road. I kept saying, “Let off your brake! Let off your brake!”
Lucky for him the plow truck saw what was happening and managed to swing around him. I’d started braking as soon as I saw what was happening and gave the whole situation plenty of room. The guy in the car managed to stop about a foot before running into the guard rail. Here’s the thing – if he’d just let go of his brake he probably would have made the turn ok. But I’ve noticed when people get into trouble they tend to slam on the brake. That will cost you dearly in the snow, folks. Anybody who’s driven in the snow knows this of course, but people still do it regardless.
So my first piece of advice is don’t slam on your brakes in the snow! First of all don’t go faster than what you can handle. If you do get in trouble don’t depend on your anti-lock braking system to do your thinking for you. I went into a skid during our last storm with my truck and tapped the brakes gently, steered into the skid, and managed to get it back under control. The roads were worse than I thought and that was an excellent wake up call for me. Go slow!
Ok, my winter driving friends. What kind of winter driving advice do you have for us? What would you tell our southern cousins right now who are getting a taste of what we deal with all the time?
Sound off below!