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10 Tips For Driving in the Snow

Discussion in 'Recovery & Gear' started by jberry813, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. Jan 23, 2017 at 7:48 PM
    #1
    jberry813

    jberry813 [OP] The Mad Scientist Staff Member

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    The recent storms and holiday drivers have in a sense…inspired me. Living in California for over 25 years has no double desensitizes me to the overall mass stupidity and quality of the resident drivers. Since moving to a neighboring state I’ll wholeheartedly admit that my patience for said residents has dwindled. Tack on moving to an area that has snow on the ground for 4 months out of the year has further enlightened me that…well…not everyone knows how drive in the snow, let alone have a clue. I guess my goal is to hopefully educate, perhaps persuade others to be slightly more responsible, but at a minimum give everyone an afternoon giggle.

    Selfishly, some of these winter driving tips are exclusive benefits to me and the drivers around you. Others will make everyone’s lives a little better.

    1. Know your vehicle!!!! I really can’t stress this one enough. I can’t honestly tell you how many times I’ve seen vehicles driving around in chain control zones with the chains on the wrong axle. Every brand new vehicle comes with an elusive literary reference book, normally placed in the passenger side glove compartment, commonly referred to as the “Owner’s Manual.” This book has all sorts of helpful information about your vehicle including which axle(s) are the drive axle(s) as well as snow chain/cable recommendations. Now I realize that not everyone buys a brand new vehicle and sometimes Owner’s Manuals are not provided. Take your car to ANY auto parts store, auto mechanic shop, or anyone knowledgeable and ask. They aren’t going to charge you for it nor insult you. Not knowing and wanting to learn is not a crime. Just yesterday @Relentless Eric and I witnessed a 2wd Frontier attempt to make it from the seasonal rental property at the bottom of my court up the moderate grade, with snow chains on the front wheels. The females in the vehicle questioned us as they ferociously alternately one wheel slid half way up the court even though they had chains on. Upon us enlightening them of the common mistake, “the boyfriend” in the Heep behind them quickly retorted with “Japanese trucks are front wheel drive.” Never to leave a damsel in distress, Eric and I helped them while “the boyfriend” stood by in standard Jeep confusion. Chains affixed properly, they went on their merry way.

    2. Test fit your cables and chains BEFORE you come to snow country. Yes, that means get them out of the bag, read the fucking instructions, and make sure they fit your vehicle. Now, I realize that some people out there have more dollars than sense, and they quickly reply in jest that they will just pay one of the grizzly mountain men in neon suits to put the chains on for them at the foot of chain control. Well guess what? You still gotta take them off at some point and there are not always helpers around for that. And what if one of your chains comes loose or flies off? If you’re too stupid or ignorant to put on snow chains, then you’re too stupid to drive in the snow…period.


    3. 2wd pickup trucks are some of the worst handling vehicles in the snow. There’s no weight in the rear and they are rear wheel drive. If heading to winter wonderland, consider picking up a few 50 pound bags of sand. Most hardware stores even sell them for relatively cheap. If by chance you find yourself in a freak, unannounced storm, if there’s snow on the ground, there’s weight to be put in your truck. Fill the bed with snow. You’d be surprised how much of a difference 150 pounds of weight in the rear end makes in pickup.

    4. Don’t try to sneak by chain control by holding 4 fingers up out the window as you pass by chain control trying to allude to the transit worker barely making over minimum wage that your 2wd truck is really 4wd. I could give two shits if you spinout and run your vehicle off the road, the problem is when you slide out into a minivan full of people because of your careless ignorance.

    5. Four wheel drive (4wd) is exactly that….four wheel DRIVE. This doesn’t absolve you from using caution on a snow and ice covered road. It does not mean you can tailgate the vehicle in front of you. It does not mean you can take that 90 degree corner at the same speed you can back in your flatland dry hometown. Newton’s laws of motion STILL apply to you.

    6. Mud tires with giant mud lugs generally do very well in the snow. That said, they suck the biggest donkey dick in the slush and ice. A front wheel drive ford escort with all-season tires will have more traction on ice than your monster truck with MTs. Again…going along with tip # 5 above, use caution…more than normal.

    7. In case you missed the theme of tips 5 and 6 above, I’ll try to be more clear. SLOW THE FUCK DOWN…but read on.


    8. Now I realize that some will do everything mentioned above because they want to experience this mysterious fluffy white substance known as snow, but they are still scared of driving in it. This is completely understandable. As with anything new, you’re going in with caution. This does not mean drive 8 mph on the major highway with 100 cars stacked up behind your petrified ass and not a single motherfucking car in front of you for miles!!!! Practice in an empty parking lot. Have someone else drive who actually has experience in snow until you practice. For Christ’s sake, at a minimum use the fucking turn outs and let the vehicles behind you pass. Should you chose the last option, do not be surprised or offended when you get 68 horn honks and 125 middle fingers (yes, the passengers hate you that much too) from the cars that you fucked over for hours and are now passing you.

    9. If by chance you make it up to this wonderful place we call home, and by further chance overnight a winter storm passes through dumping several feet of snow, expect to put in a little work in the morning before you proceed to your day activities. If there is 3 feet of snow on your vehicle, this does not mean wipe a 12”x12” section away from the driver’s side windshield only to be fogged over in a manner of seconds of turning on the defrosters and then diving into traffic. Do you have any idea how fucking annoying and blinding it is to be behind a moving fucking snowbank leaving a whiteout blizzard in its wake? Well if you don’t, then ponder this. While you’re out weaving around cause you can barely see out the small section you cleared in your fucking mobile snow fort, frozen over windshield wipers viciously swiping back and forth, all that fucking uncleared snow on your hood as you drive 50 mph is going to blow back into your windshield and further blind you. And because you’re such a bad-ass, the 3 foot tall bank on the roof of the car is going to eventually do one of two things. You’re either going to slam on the gas and it’s all going to fall right in front of the poor bastard behind you, or you’re going to slam on the brakes and it’s going to drop right over your finally cleared off windshield. So here’s what you’re going to do. Put down the pill bottle of Prozac, and make yourself a nice warm cup of coffee or tea or whatever the fuck it is that gets you going in the morning. Take your fucking cellphone and turn it off and put it away till you get wherever you’re going. Clear the snow from the driver’s door and especially around the door seams so as to not douse your seat with snow, and start your vehicle and put the defroster on high. Get a broom and start clearing the snow off ALL OF THE FUCKING VEHICLE. Don’t have a broom? Put on a jacket and a glove and start swiping. It doesn’t have to be spotless, but for fucks sake don’t drive around with 18” of snow on the vehicle. Yes, this applies to you rich stupid fucks that drive $80,000 SUV’s too.

    10. Lastly, be prepared. I’m not saying plan for the zombie apocalypse, but have some reasonable sense of preparation. Keep a flashlight, first aid kit, spare clothes (and SNOW CLOTHES), food, water, a lighter, etc. God forbid if you get stuck or slide out in a non-frequented winter roadway, you’ll be glad you did.

    Many of you will read this and think you learned nothing. I applaud that…but share with your friends, and their friends, and their friends’ friends. Because I assure you

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Jan 23, 2017 at 7:50 PM
    #2
    T-Rex266

    T-Rex266 .org? Never heard of her. Staff Member

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    @Bob we need a recovery sub-forum here, por favor.
     
  3. Jan 23, 2017 at 8:01 PM
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    jberry813

    jberry813 [OP] The Mad Scientist Staff Member

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    Inspiration. Must be that jeep thing everyone talks about.

    IMG_0640.jpg
     
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  4. Jan 23, 2017 at 8:11 PM
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    jberry813

    jberry813 [OP] The Mad Scientist Staff Member

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  5. Jan 23, 2017 at 8:25 PM
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    Wynnded

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    Drive fast, take chances?
     
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  6. Jan 23, 2017 at 8:51 PM
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    COMiamiFan

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    You da man! Great post.
     
  7. Jan 23, 2017 at 8:57 PM
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    Pudge

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    Any tips on how to disable the freaking deadly ABS?
     
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  8. Jan 23, 2017 at 8:59 PM
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    Ardnut

    Ardnut New Member

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    Unfortunately with all the safety labels and equipment in place Darwinism has a much harder time doing its thing so this dipshit epidemic is far from over.
     
  9. Jan 23, 2017 at 9:02 PM
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    jberry813

    jberry813 [OP] The Mad Scientist Staff Member

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    Yes. Pull the fuse.
     
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  10. Jan 23, 2017 at 9:04 PM
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    Pudge

    Pudge Super Secret Elite Member #7

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    That's what I was thinking. I installed a switch on my tacoma. Was hoping I could do similar. Will pulling the fuse effect VSC or LSD at all?
     
  11. Jan 23, 2017 at 9:07 PM
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    jberry813

    jberry813 [OP] The Mad Scientist Staff Member

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    Honestly I can't tell you with the new tundras. I haven't done anything with my new tundra. I will say that the ABS in my 3rd gen Tundra is light years above my previous toyotas. That said, if history tells me anything about my current/previous toyotas, once you disable ABS, it's a Christmas tree dash for the rest of the nannies.
     
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  12. Jan 23, 2017 at 9:11 PM
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    Pudge

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    That's what I'm afraid of. I just can't stand the ABS in the snow. I slid several feet today in the parking lot today at work going under 10mph. There was about a half inch or slush on the ground. Even if I locked the brakes up I'm sure I'd have stopped faster.
     
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  13. Jan 23, 2017 at 9:12 PM
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    csuviper

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    Man so much anger in one informative post.
     
  14. Jan 23, 2017 at 9:12 PM
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    Pudge

    Pudge Super Secret Elite Member #7

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    Sorry to thread jack. I'll start another one about this.
    Oh and btw great post and thanks
     
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  15. Jan 23, 2017 at 9:12 PM
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    Achuop

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    My wife got mad at me the other day for pulling over into a ditch covered in snow I did not see. I said don't worry honey, the 4 wheel drive will get us out. I turned that knob to 4x4 and drove right out.
     
  16. Jan 23, 2017 at 9:18 PM
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    csuviper

    csuviper Moderator Staff Member

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    My key points are:
    1. Don't accelerate fast
    2. Don't drive fast
    3. Don't turn fast
    4. Don't stop fast
    Unless of course you are purposely doing it beacuse you love driving in snow (and know how).
     
  17. Jan 23, 2017 at 9:27 PM
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    jberry813

    jberry813 [OP] The Mad Scientist Staff Member

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    I'm not angry. I'm a bitter, satirical asshole with a hint of taunt and loads of derogatory narrative.
     
  18. Jan 23, 2017 at 9:32 PM
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    csuviper

    csuviper Moderator Staff Member

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    Don't go out the morning after a big storm unless you have the proper vehicle. Your small car with no ground clearance cannot drive through 4" of non cleared street.

    Buy a 4WD, AWD or at least higher clearance vehicle if you live in a region that can get a lot of snow.....or just stay home when it snows.
     
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  19. Jan 23, 2017 at 9:54 PM
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    ColoradoTJ

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    This was epic, life changing thread for some people...that I am sure of.

    I haven't laughed so hard in agreement for a long while. Growing up in Montana, we had a lot of weather, and snow for a good portion of the year was normal.. The last 15-20 years up there, the weather has been pretty mild. Must be in a weather cycle.

    Totally feel your pain Jason. Living by 4 military installations, one can only imagine how many people can't drive in the snow or any weather for that matter. On the Army base, Ft. Carson, the #1 purchased vehicle is probably a Dodge Charger SRT8 (or rat pack) and a close second is the Mustang 5.0. Obviously great vehicles to drive in any snow ridden roads with ice and hills...and hey, why not go 55 mph while we are at it? The roads around my house are parking lots due to all the morons attempting to drive these vehicles.

    I seen a couple snow flakes tonight before work. I backed my really shitty snow car (Michelin Pilot tires) out of the driveway, turned it off. Went over to my 4wd truck and fired that up. Go figure, no snow tonight. However, if there is a 25% chance of snow, and knowing my car sucks in snow, there is a 75% likeliness the Dirtymax is getting fired up.

    Funny, I would ski Heavenly resort a lot when living in CA or when in NV. My only car was a Z-28 Camaro. I had no issues getting there and back. I would put cable chains on the rear tires, and it actually did pretty good for a sports car with 245 tires on all 4 corners.

    One Christmas I drove home to Montana with a friend (he was from SW Montana as well). We left SoCal, blazing up north. We got into one of the worst blizzards I have ever driven in. My cable chains on that Z-28 worked great. It was so bad, I would stop about every 20 min to scoop out the snow pack in front of the square headlights so I could see. After getting over the Continental Divide, it was easy driving from there. I was delayed about 8 hours due to slow pace driving and stopping every 20 min, but I made it, and surprised the shit out of family and friends. Back then we didn't have the smart phones of today. That would have been nice in that situation. I may have decided to change my plans....
     
  20. Jan 24, 2017 at 4:32 AM
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    NewImprovedRon

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    Funny as hell, accurate, and very informative, Jason!
     
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  21. Jan 24, 2017 at 5:12 AM
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    Law323

    Law323 it’s only weird if you make it weird

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    Wow.....I'm not a fan of driving in the snow on account of my 2wd truck alone! That being said Memphis doesn't get but an inch or two of snow every year, so that's a plus! There is still ice a few days out of the year so I just drive slow and cautiously.
    First time this happened, immediately told my wife to drive slowly, put no less than two or three car lengths between you and the car in front of you and NEVER slam on the brakes. Neither of us had experience in the snow or ice but it seemed to be common sense!
    Thanks for this post, it gave me a few extra ideas like the sandbags that I didn't even think about!

    It's amazing how people have no apparent grasp on common sense!
     
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  22. Jan 24, 2017 at 6:05 AM
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    FirstGenTundra

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    #1 love the post. :thumbsup: Living in Northern VA we have people from all over the place who have no clue how to drive in the snow.

    #2 If that fuse thing works its worth a million bucks. The only thing I miss from my first gen Tundra is the lack of an ABS system, never had any trouble stoping in the snow. I HATE ABS... :goingcrazy: I seriously wish there was a switch to turn it off.
     
  23. Jan 24, 2017 at 6:11 AM
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    MotoTundra

    MotoTundra The Ocho

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    Well this is more of a venting rant than instructional post....

    For f**ks sake, keep your momentum going up a hill or mountain. If you see a big hill in front of you, prepare for it. There is such a thing as too slow, and going up a slippery hill with traffic behind you is not the place, if someone is in your trunk in bad weather going up a hill, get out of the way because you or your vehicle aren't making the cut and they are trying not to loose their momentum.

    Where I live there are a lot of mountains with steep dips that go down then up. Smart traffic will usually slow or stop before the downhill grade, wait for the vehicle in front of them to crest the hill after the large dip, then gun it down to get up the other side. There is always that guy or gal who creeps up the hill, gets stuck, blocks or partially blocks a lane, then people coming down the hill try to stop because people going up the hill need to use their lane, and it turns into a cluster with a jacknifed big rig and complete blockage.

    Drives me crazy!
     
  24. Jan 24, 2017 at 6:13 AM
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    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon Hey! Get off my grass!

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    Very true!
     
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  25. Jan 24, 2017 at 6:26 AM
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    louscrw

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    That's a great post Jason. I have zero experience driving in the snow. I've lived in the south my whole 40 years. But, I can say, IF I ever need to, this post will help. Sadly, even being a southern boy, most of what you wrote seems like common sense. I think some locals get complacent and are over confident in their winter driving "skills." And some people are just plain dumb...really, you don't know if your car is FWD, RWD, or AWD? haha, there's no fixing that
     
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  26. Jan 24, 2017 at 6:52 AM
    #26
    T-Rex266

    T-Rex266 .org? Never heard of her. Staff Member

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  27. Jan 24, 2017 at 6:53 AM
    #27
    T-Rex266

    T-Rex266 .org? Never heard of her. Staff Member

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    Also - if your tire tread sucks, stay OFF the road! You're a hazard to yourself and others.
     
  28. Jan 24, 2017 at 6:54 AM
    #28
    ramonortiz55

    ramonortiz55 I don't Even Own A Tundra

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  29. Jan 24, 2017 at 7:02 AM
    #29
    csuviper

    csuviper Moderator Staff Member

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    Some Mods :) See build thread for details
    Here is what AAA has to say

    • Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
    • Never run a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
    • Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
    • Keep your gas tank at least half full.
    • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
    • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
    • Always look and steer where you want to go.
    • Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.


    Tips for long-distance winter trips:

    • Watch weather reports prior to a long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you must leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
    • Always make sure your vehicle is in peak operating condition by having it inspected by a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility.
    • Keep at least half a tank of gasoline in your vehicle at all times.
    • Pack a cellular telephone with your local AAA’s telephone number, plus blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle.
    • If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle. It provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Don’t try to walk in a severe storm. It’s easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
    • Don’t over exert yourself if you try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow.
    • Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
    • Make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.
    • Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers or paper maps.
    • If possible run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill and to conserve gasoline.

    Tips for driving in the snow:

    • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
    • Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
    • The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
    • Know your brakes. If you have anti-lock brakes (ABS) and need to slow down quickly, press hard on the pedal-it’s normal for the pedal to vibrate a bit when the ABS is activated.
    • Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
    • Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed down hill as slowly as possible.
    • Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
    • Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.
     
  30. Jan 24, 2017 at 7:07 AM
    #30
    Randy Morton

    Randy Morton Life takes its toll, please have exact change.

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    Randy
    Deepinahearta, Texas
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    2012 Tundra Double Cab (I call it my Land Yacht)
    You forgot rule #11 for driving in the snow in Texas. Don't! It'll be gone by the next day and all of the people that think they're experts will be on the road proving themselves wrong. Kick back, put a little Jack Daniels in your coffee, turn on the news, and watch people slide past the cameras sideways. The best vehicle I ever had for icy roads was a front wheel drive Subaru hatchback. All of the weight (including the spare tire) was over the front wheels. The worst was every pickup (all 2WD) I ever owned.
     

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