‘Tis the season for snow. Since I’m from a place that regularly gets snow (and live in a place that usually does not), I thought I’d help out people who aren’t used to the white stuff (not THAT white stuff) and give you advice on how to walk/drive/bicycle in snow.
1.) Wear appropriate footwear.
This would seem to be an easy one, but I’ve seen flip-flops in the middle of a snowstorm. Unless the nerve-endings in your feet have died, you should wear something warm with good traction, like boots. You’ll also want something that’s waterproof.
2.) Walk on the sidewalk, not the middle of the road.
Cars need the road. Cars have less room to stop when it’s slippery. Cars cannot stop on hills because they need to accelerate to a point where they can clear the hill. Cars cannot stop at the bottom of hills because they’ll slide. If you walk in the middle of the road, you’re either gonna piss off a driver, or get hit by a car. Sidewalk not clear, you say? Walk on the snow-covered grass next to it. Speaking of which:
2.) Snow has better traction than ice.
If the sidewalk is clear, great. But if you live in a place that doesn’t see much snowfall, your neighbors may think it never snows and so not have shovels at the ready, or salt. In my home state, homeowners can be fined if they don’t clear the sidewalks in front of their houses. But again, I’m from a place that regularly gets snow.
1.) Slow the fuck down.
Remember how slippery it is when it rains and you have to drive under the speed limit? Snow is worse. If you’re going the speed limit on a snowy/icy road, you’re going too fast. On the other hand, don’t drive the same speed as a pedestrian. You still have to make it up those hills.
2.) Snow is better than ice…
Like with walking, you’ll get traction on snow. You won’t get traction on ice. And when it first starts snowing? Slippery as goose shit. Wait until enough of it sticks to the ground to make more than a thin coating of slip ‘n slide on the road, then get in your car.
3.) …except when it’s on the top of your car.
Last weekend, when snow hit hard here, I saw many drivers who cleared their windows of snow, but left it on the hood and (even worse) on the top of the car. Why is that bad? Let’s say you’re driving down the highway, or it gets a little warmer outside, or you have to break suddenly. Either than snow is going to slide onto your windshield, blocking your view, or it’s gonna fly into the windshield of the driver behind you. Again, this is stuff people are fined for in my home state. There’s a reason for that.
4.) Freezing rain? Why are you outside?!
Seriously. If the forecast calls for freezing rain, you’ll have no traction on the roads. None. Zero. Zilch. Stay home, pour yourself a nice cup of hot cocoa, and watch a movie.
5.) Below freezing? Watch out for black ice.
Especially on bridges, where the air is colder. On pavement, it’ll look like a wet spot. It’s not wet — it’s a death trap.
6.) If you start sliding, don’t accelerate or brake. Steer into the turn.
Just like they taught you in driver’s ed, hopefully. Since you have no traction on ice, accelerating or braking will just make your car spin around. You’ll want to avoid that.
1.) Seriously, wtf are you doing? You’re gonna die.
And now you know how to travel in snow!