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Julie’s commonsense guide to winter driving

I have driven all over the world in all kinds of conditions. It never ceases to amaze me how many people don’t know how to drive on wintery roads (but still insist on doing it).

· You, the driver, are the best safety feature of your car

· You, the driver, are the most dangerous feature of your car

· Four-wheel drive is not four-wheel stop

· Assume the other guy is an awful stupid driver

· Don’t be that awful stupid driver

· If everyone around you is going slow, you go slow(er)

· If cars ahead of you are all braking, you brake

· Pay enough attention to those around you to be able to recognize those last two items

· Know why bridges, overpasses and hills are more dangerous so you can better drive on them

· Never underestimate the power of good tires

· Never underestimate the power of bad tires

· Go slow, it seriously hurts less to crash at 40mph than to crash at 65mph

· If the roads are bad and you’re in a hurry, leave early or don’t go

· If you’re nervous, give it a try, go slow, you’ll probably be ok

· If you scared (like skeerrred), stay home

· Stick to the main roads, you’ll have more cars to deal with but they will be cleared first and better maintained through-out the storms

· Put more distance than normal between you and the car(s) around you

· Yes, even at stops, more space between cars

· You can most likely live without milk or juice or whatever for a day or two, that’s not usually reason enough to go out (and I’d bet your neighbor has an extra roll of toilet paper if you go ask)

· If you are approaching an intersection and you realize you won’t be able to stop, draw attention to yourself. Honk your horn. Flash your lights. Do your best to make the other cars see you so they can avoid you since you’re not in control.

· Above all, realize that you are not the only person on the road. Everyone around you is special to someone and you do not want to be the arrogant jerk that was going too fast, tailgating or what not and cause mommy or daddy to never come home again.