UPDATED: 5 Life Hacks to Help You Drive In Minnesota Winters
We're not getting a massive amount of snow, but we are getting snow and it's the first one you may be driving in since last winter. So below, I offer my now FIVE Life Hacks to Help You Drive In Minnesota Winters (it used to be just three!).
I love winter, and in my time, I've discovered some great ways to make sure I stay safe and get where I'm going. We'll start with the penguins because that way you get to your car without looking like a Minnesota Newbie. Follow the rest of them and you should be alive and healthy for Christmas.
How to Get Going After You've StoppedOr, The Gas Pedal Hates You Sometimes
You're at a stop light, the light turns green, you want to go. You step on the gas, but you start going sideways! What the what?
Take your foot off the gas.
If you're having a hard time getting going once you've stopped, don't try to slip and slide thru the intersection. And don't add more gas. That'll do something, but often not what you want.
Instead, take your foot off the gas. Hit the brake to make sure you've stopped, then take your foot off the brake and let the idle speed get you going. It's surprising how often it works. You may be going slow, but you'll be going.
The Penguin Walk
How do so many Minnesotans avoid falling down on ice? You're new to the area, and you can't STOP falling down!
Have you ever seen a penguin walk? They almost never fall down on ice. So, walk like them. You can watch the video, or just take tiny steps. You can flap your arms if you want, but that won't help.
Unless you're wearing a tuxedo, then it'll be super adorable!
Brush ALL The Snow Off Your CarNot just enough to see, all of it.
This may sound super obvious, but if you leave snow on your hood, it'll blow up onto your windshield. If you leave snow on your car roof or trunk, the car behind you gets a mini-blizzard (made just for them).
Obviously its dangerous for you, but I'm often more concerned with me not crashing, so please, brush off all your car. Think how warm it'll be when you get back in it!
Neutral Is Your Friend
I live on a hill. The last thing I want to do is lose control of the car on that hill when it's icy. So I remember one important thing. When the car is in neutral, it's much easier to keep yourself moving straight, and to slow it down with slow application of the brakes.
This takes some getting used to, but there are times when power going to the wheels is the last thing you want. So practice on a quiet street when there's ice bout. Literally slip the car into neutral, and brake softly.
It sounds simple, I know. But you have to practice it so it becomes a natural thing, because you'll want to go back into drive immediately after you've stopped (or regained control of the car, etc).
Slow the Cuss Down
All the other info is excellent, on point, and will help. But slowing down is the #1 thing people don't do just before they get in an accident. Even if people around you are zooming around, just wait, you'll see 'em in a ditch soon enough.
Better to get there a few minutes late than the pay a tow truck, a body shop, and maybe even a hospital for stuff you won't need if you just. Slow. Down.