Ten Tips for Surviving the Winter Wonderland

Cedar City experienced its first snowfall of the season Tuesday, Oct. 12, which introduced freshmen and seniors alike to the winter weather of Southern Utah University. The first snow of the season is always an impressive sight. However, with winter conditions comes winter hazards. To keep you safe in this winter wonderland, here are ten tips for surviving the upcoming winter season.

1.) Slow Down

This may seem like an obvious tip. However, the leading cause of crashes during the winter season is people moving too fast for road conditions. In addition, ice can make stopping on a dime almost impossible in some nasty storms.

Slowing down also helps lower the stress of driving in bad weather conditions as the driver has more control over the vehicle. Finally, make sure to have plenty of extra time on your schedule to alleviate the stress of running late and providing a leisurely and slow drive.

2.) Do Not Stress or Panic.

If a worse case happens and you find yourself stuck in a snowbank, sliding on the road, late for a meeting or in bumper-to-bumper traffic, Do not stress or panic. Panicking or stressing can only make a bad situation worse. Instead, stay safe and figure out the best way forward.

3.) Plan Ahead

If you know of an upcoming storm, there are ways you can help make your life easier, such as putting a protective covering on vehicles or windshields to help make clearing off snow easier or going to bed early to provide yourself more time.

4.) Clear Vehicle of Ice and Snow for Visibility

If you cannot see, you cannot drive. Stormy weather conditions can already lower visibility. Having that extra snow and ice on your windshield can be extremely dangerous when paying attention to other cars, hazards or pedestrians.

Taking extra time to clear off your windshield with a snow brush or ice scraper is necessary for any snowy condition. You can buy them for relatively cheap off of Amazon or anywhere else that sells automotive parts.

5.) Drive Behind Snow Plows

The road behind an active snow plow provides the best road as it has been freshly cleared of all snow, providing more traction to the vehicle. This does not mean tailgate snow plows, instead maintain a respective distance from them and follow their line.

6.) If Your Vehicle Begins to Skid, Ease off Gas and Steer Into the Slide

If you find yourself slipping and sliding, do not press the gas or turn vigorously. Pressing the gas while turning will only make you spin out faster. Oversteering will also lend itself to a spin-out. Youtube is full of helpful videos.

7.) Use Caution When Changing Lanes

If you find yourself driving before the snow plows have had a chance to clear the streets, then snow and slush can build up, making for slippery conditions in between lanes. 

So make sure if you need to change lanes that you cut through the snow. Smooth and careful direct movements will help lessen the time the vehicle is in contact with the ice and snow.

8.) Make Sure Your Car has Gas

You never know when you will find yourself stuck in traffic or stuck in snow on the side of the road. It is always best to make sure you have a full gas tank when driving in winter conditions.

9.) Learn Your Vehicle

Understand your vehicle and the helpful tools it may have for winter conditions. Check to see if it is an all-wheel-drive vehicle or a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Some new cars even have built-in drift control.

10.) Dress for the Weather

While this list has predominantly been about vehicle safety during winter storms, it is always important to dress for the weather. Wear a jacket, pants, gloves or any other necessity to help against the snow. A broken-down car can become extremely chilly.

Story by: Skyler Jones

Photo by John Waco,jr on Unsplash  

Email: outdoors@suunews.net