Driving in Snow

This weekend we had our biggest snow of the year thus far, leaving us with around 8n inches in our part of the valley. As I have mentioned before, I enjoy all seasons, including winter with plenty of snow. I am happy my truck has 4WD and I feel confident in my “snow smarts” when it comes to driving. I ranted previously about the basics of driving in the snow, but after coming into work this morning, I realized I left a few off the list. Once again, if you life in a tropical or otherwise “lack of all seasons” area, you have the day off and can skip the following.
These particular rants apply to those without garages or at least garage space for the vehicle you happen to be driving. I note that carefully because if you are anything like my home growing up, your garage became a storage locker rather than a place to park your cars out of the elements. I am happy to report I do much better with keeping my garage open to my cars, but I do have one vehicle that has to stay outside. So, if your car is outside overnight, a snowy or particularly cold morning you get the joy of scraping off those windows. Here is where my rant begins.

Cleaning off your car sucks, no two ways about it. It’s cold outside, you are likely tired and not all that excited to get going in the morning anyway; now you have to deal with scraping off the stubborn shield of frozen water that seems specifically attracted to car glass more than anywhere else. Of course you keep meaning to get a really nice scraper, but that never happens, so you are stuck with that freebie you got somewhere years ago. This cheap scraper works a lot like wiper blades these days; you have to scrape each area a dozen times to get rid of the streaks and places it skips right over. Since it is such a pain, you decide to just carve out an area you can see and jump in the car to take off.

Heater/defroster on full blast, you figure it will clean the window for you quick enough, so off you go. Now you are one of those people I dread seeing anywhere near me on the seat. Hunched over you peer through that little hole the defroster has made at the bottom of your windshield. No worries, you’re safe…when you make a turn you roll down the window a crack and check for traffic. As your heater battles the ice you cruise along at normal speed not a care in the world. When I see you turn on the street in front of me, I give you a wide berth. No telling what is going to happen.

Of course, here I am using “you” generally because you specifically would never do this…right? Ok, admit, everyone has done this at least once when they are in a hurry. Just hope now that I have pointed this out you will think twice and take that extra 2 minutes to clean all your windows for some real visibility. Is that 2 minutes you save worth the much higher chances you have of sideswiping someone as you turn out onto a busy street, or worse yet take out a kid at the crosswalk. You get my drift.

My next one…while your at it cleaning off the windows, can you please, pretty please clean off that loose snow on the car? Keep an old broom handy that you can take a few quick swipes to remove all those loose snow off the hood roof and trunk. This applies double if you have an SUV or truck with a shell. Why is this so important? Likely you have never noticed a problem…for YOU! That’s because the snow flying off in a flurry resembling a small snowstorm is happening behind you…directly into me. Ever seen that car merge on the freeway and get up to speed, merrily on their oblivious way? Meanwhile traffic for a quarter mile long and 5 lanes wide behind them can’t see a thing. Nothing like adding to the safety factor on an otherwise perilous morning drive. Do us all a favor and get that snow off.

Mornings after big snow are an inconvenience to everyone, but you don’t need to add to it. Get the tools to make it a little easier, bundle up and leave yourself a few minutes in the morning to get properly ready for the drive. Better yet, maybe now is a good time to clean out that garage so you can actually use it for the intended purpose. I know after the last few mornings of cleaning off my truck I am scheming on a way to park my “summer” car somewhere so I can free up that warm, dry spot. Scraping and brushing are getting real old, real fast.