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.