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How To Drive Through Snow At Night

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The first albino brain chiggers swarm of the season has wrapped its beautiful frosty hands around the neck of the Midwest. Such nights can be incredibly daunting, especially living in a state like Michigan, when one is used to merely depressing weather instead of trudging through with the visibility of a wombat.

"It's like people forgot how to drive in the snow!"

Indeed they have. Trekking through wintry weather is a skill acquired and lost, much like the celebrity gossip news cycle. Likewise, snow driving comes and goes with the seasons. Just like snow! Ain't that a coincidence?

Last night I drove through the bitch. Fluffy, flaky inches laid havoc to the asphalt, while the 32-degree weather and high winds made the trip truckloads of fun. The sight of eight cars in ditches can be unnerving for anyone, and that's why I'm here to pass along some helpful advice for the next time you get caught in a post-dusk nor'easter:

1. Slow down! You may have to go reduce your speed to perhaps half the limit. Prepare months in advance by driving through a retirement community.

2. Follow the tire tracks ahead of you! Oftentimes a new blizzard will result in few plowed roads and no salt, so go where everyone else is going. Do not follow the tire tracks if they lead to a pile of cars.

3. Don't slam on your brakes! Moreover, don't slam on other people's brakes; it means you are tailing too closely.

4. Tell a relative or close friend when you are departing, and when you arrive at your destination. If the road is especially treacherous and takes you longer than anticipated, do not hesitate to whip out your cell phone and call or text that person.

5. If you are driving the Batmobile, doesn't it fly? If so, can I ride with you sometime?

6. Use four-wheel drive! Advise against driving if your car doesn't come with this. Thankfully, most cars manufactured these days are equipped with four wheels.

7. Watch out for hills and changes in elevation! If you accidentally drive off a cliff, remember the wisdom of Wile E. Coyote and, under ANY circumstances, do not look down.

8. If you start skidding, remember this: always steer … what's that? Toward the skid? That can't be right. Turn away.

9. Riding with a dog? Their animal instinct can sense your nervousness. If they start whining, have them get out and pull your car.

10. Riding with small children? See No. 9, but use a more dignified harness.

11. Sometimes, it's best to stay off the road. Don't even think about going outside. Everyone's out to get you.

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  • This article is too cute, Matt. Wish we had snow here in central California. I would follow your suggestions. Merry Christmas!

  • They’re probably just as useful in the fog, Christine…

    Wait! Who said that?


  • I remember driving in snow in Minnesota. Every winter the idiots would get into dumb accidents, fishtailing themselves all over the roads. My sister-in-law reported 285 accidents in the recent storm in St. Paul.

    Once, during a snowfall, my car fell into a ditch. I did my damndest to drive it out of the ditch but couldn’t. The AAA had to winch the car out. The winter before, driving on a country road near Blooming Prairie, my “Shrinking Horizon” (a little grey Plymouth Horizon that kept losing teeth from the grille) overturned in a ditch – this with me going 20 mph or less. That was pretty much the end of my Shrinking Horizon. It was also the last time I ever drove without a seatbelt.

    Oh, the joys of maneuvering a car in snow and ice – I don’t miss ’em one bit!!

    Have a great winter, Matt!

  • My sister-in-law reported 285 accidents in the recent storm in St. Paul.

    Blimey, she was busy. I can imagine the 911 dispatcher… “You again, ma’am? Yes, we’ve got fire trucks and ambulances on the way…”


  • Thanks for the fog tip, Dr. D.

    But I will have to opt out of tip # 9, my dog is a Chiuaua, doubt he could pull my car! Used to have a couple of Rotts, They weighed more than me and would have done a fine job! Miss them. Happy Winter to all!

  • Growing up in Maryland I have no problem with driving in the snow. Here in the south they freak out over rain or snow. They stop dead on the highway and stare out the window. ‘Dear God! There’s water fallin’ from the sky!’ Like it’s a sign of the apocalypse and the world is about to end.

  • Great article. But why didn’t you put it in the Mitten area of BC?

  • Dear Matt:
    Any tips on how to drive in the rain. Been quite the week here in central California.

  • Driving in the rain can be quite hazardous. Instead, take the hydroplane.

  • LittlePebblesAcademy.blogspot.com

    Albino Brain Chiggers was an original!
    No where in the history of television has that phrase been said untill 3rd. Rock.