Anybody else absolutely terrified to drive in the snow/freezing rain/sleet/etc?
I didn't used to be. When I was younger it was fine. I haven't *knock on wood* had a bad incident in the snow so no real reason to be scared. But the older I get, the more nervous snow makes me.
Especially today! It is white out conditions in my town at the moment, and I am at work. Our roads look like crap. I don't get to go home any time soon so it's only going to be that much worse by the time I am driving. I only have to drive about five miles home but I am already wringing my hands. Any tricks to calming down snow driving fears???
Plus my father in his infinite wisdom decided to point out to me YESTERDAY -- knowing that snow was coming and I am scared to drive in the snow -- that my tires look bad. I thought they'd get me through another season and had been ok so far up until he spoke up. So now I am like convinced I am going to die on the drive home. Help!
I have a serious phobia about driving in the snow. I'm better when I'm actually driving but I have had all out panic attacks being in the car during a snow storm. And I too have never had a bad accident. I try to be logical and remind myself that the person driving doesn't want to crash and wouldn't want to hurt themselves or me but it's not always successful. There are times that I'm left clawing at the door and sobbing to be let out of the car. It is by far one of the worst feelings ever.
I found one of the best ways to help me through was to get a good, safe vehicle and do the appropriate winter prep. I drive a truck with on demand 4-wheel-drive. I can lock it into 4wd - no need to depend on some computer thingy to determine when and if I need to have traction. I put it on when I want it and when I feel I need it. I also invest in good all season tires and if necessary - really good winter tires. Spending $1200 is worth it if it keeps you safe.
Also, don't be afraid to drive like a grandma. You will get there safely and the yahoos that pass you at 60mph and curse you as they do will be the ones in a ditch somewhere. You can laugh when you catch up to them. I wish there were more schools that teach winter driving techniques. I know that there is one in Colorado that actually puts you in cars on a course made up of snow and ice and teach you how to handle white outs and loss of control. We could use something like that in the Northeast for sure!
I'm pretty petrified to drive in snow because it just doesn't happen down here that often so I have no practice doing it. Last year (???) I had to drive home from work which is just over 37 miles with snow on the interstate. I thought I'd have a heart attack. LOL! I had to force my boss to let me leave work so when I got in the interstate covered in snow, I texted him a picture (I wasn't moving at the time) so he knew I wasn't crazy.
maybe you just need a better car? I didn't realize that my fears of driving in bad conditions were well, REAL, until I swapped my old car for one with AWD. Now the only thing I worry about is the other drivers- lots of SUV drivers seem to think their 4WD gives them magical powers.
I absolutely LOVE driving in snow. Slush, not so much, but snow can be great fun. If possible go to an emply parking lot and practice. Figuring out the things that your vehicle can and can't do will give you much more confidence when you are out on the road.
Remember that your stopping distances are going to be much longer, so leave plenty of room when following and slow down for stop signs earlier. If you are coming up on an intersection and the light turns yellow, DO NOT slam on your brakes. Much safer to go through the yellow, that's what its there for. Actually, don't slam on your brakes at all, ever. Make sure you are watching several cars ahead so that you can avoid surprises. When you have to stop suddenly (it will happen), downshift if you can and slowly apply steady pressure (assuming you have antilock brakes). If you can safely change lanes that is safer than trying to make a sudden stop.
If you go into a skid, take your foot off of the gas. Usually that alone will be enough to correct the skid. If not, DO NOT slam on the brakes and do not jerk on the wheel. Turn SLIGHTLY into the skid, but beware of overcorrecting which will throw you into a spin.
Originally Posted by Snowflake
I found one of the best ways to help me through was to get a good, safe vehicle and do the appropriate winter prep.
This is very good advice. If buying new tires is not in your budget, get a set of chains and learn how to put them on your car.
Originally Posted by Snowflake
Also, don't be afraid to drive like a grandma. You will get there safely and the yahoos that pass you at 60mph and curse you as they do will be the ones in a ditch somewhere.
Yes, but if you must drive like a grandma, be polite to those of us behind you and pull over when safe to allow for passing. I've seen unnecessarily slow drivers cause more wrecks than the yahoos. Usually the yahoos only put themselves in the ditch, the slowpokes that won't let people pass end up causing pileups.
Finally, if its too bad, stay home. There's no shame in staying safe. I've driven hundreds of thousands of miles in the snow and I've had a day or two where I stayed home because conditions were just too bad.
It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.
I can relate to ALL of the above. I have panicked and made my husband let me out of the car; it is unreasonable, i know, but I become convinced that the car/driver can't get safely down the hill. I am better when it is me driving, but I still frequently white-knuckle the drive home from work. It helps if I keep telling myself "there's no such thing as driving TOO slow in the snow" so I can go at what is comfortable for me (and that is "old lady" speed!) I think it is an age thing, but I think also they do not treat the roads as well as they used to.
I'm not afraid to, but I don't much care for it. Slow going and the other folks on the road can be dumb about it, even in here in New England. I drive a front wheel drive with a stick shift (Saabs, which are well designed for snow), which helps a lot. Go slow, plan very far ahead for stopping (hopefully, so far ahead that you don't actually have to stop, as getting started again is the hard part ), try to avoid much use of brakes and downshift instead to control speed, etc... Plan ahead, plan ahead, plan ahead, that's the real key.
I don't mind driving in the snow unless it's that slushy stuff that grabs at your tires. I have a FWD Focus with studded snows and it's pretty beastly on the roads. I'm in the crowd of folks who is afraid of the other idiots on the road. I'm just waiting for the day I get run over by a plow truck (they barrel around up here and drive down the middle of the road, forcing you into the unplowed gutter) or fall down a hill because the person in front of me didn't realize that--yes--there IS such a thing as going TOO slow in the snow!
I mind more now than I used to. I have a 2wd car that could use snow tires, or at least a rotation and I was just out slipping and sliding a bit. Luckily I have confidence in my driving. I'll suck it up, throw a bag of kitty litter in my trunk, pick the safer way home and just ease into the season.
I am a big fan of the "no unnecessary travel" concept.
Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is you're stupid and you made a bad decision.
I have been known to just pull off an exit on a snowy highway when semis were passing me at full speed. Would sit in a parking lot some place for a few minutes to regain my sanity and unclutch my fingers from the steering wheel.
I have pix of me riding a motorcycle on a highway in snow. I was in my twenties.
I do have a four wheel drive truck now, but mentally it doesn't help all that much.
\"Horses lend us the wings we lack\"
The older I got, the more I was scared by driving in the snow, too. I wasn't worried about myself, it's the other idiots out there who do not know how to safely drive in snow. Towards the end of my working career, I started saving vacation days to use as snow days. Luckily, I had a boss who was OK if I called in and told her that I was taking a snow day. Now, I'm retired and I just plain don't go out in the stuff. There's nothing I have to do that can't wait a day or two. But, you have gotten some very good advice, so just heave a sigh, get on the road, and get home safe, please.
Originally Posted by Alagirl
We just love to shame poor people...when in reality, we are all just peasants.