Driving in the Snow

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  1. I've never done this before. I'm a lifelong Angeleno, and I've driven just about every day for almost 20 years, but of course, never in the snow. Next week, I'll be going to New Jersey, and if the weather reports I've read are accurate, it'll be snowing there, and I'll be renting a car. I'm nervous about it, and I don't have time or even know anyone who's driven in the snow, so I can't ask anyone to teach me. I heard that you need chains to put on your tires. Is that true? How do you actually do that?

    Any advice any of you can give me would be so helpful!
     
  2. Lucky you!

    I live in Canada where when it snows it snows lol!
    Consider renting an SUV or something with 4 wheel drive. That is VERY important Avoid cars with RWD (rear wheel drive), these are TERRIBLE in the snow. Just go steady, don't drive too fast and you'll be fine. Snow tires make a big difference, but I am not sure if all rental places have them for their vehicles. Also make sure the car is topped up with windshield wiper fluid (but since its coming from a rental place it should be). I commute everyday to work in the snow and if its one thing i've learned just drive slowly and dont rush it. Please be careful and enjoy your time in NJ
     
  3. If you've never driven on snow or ice, I strongly recommend AGAINST doing so, especially somewhere like Jersey.

    Find another way to get around.

    Four wheel drive will NOT help you on ice, nor will it help you stop if you go into a skid. It will help you get out if you get stuck in deep snow, IF you know how to use it.

    Front wheel drive is much better than rear wheel drive, but again, it will NOT help you stop on ice.

    Chains are generally not legal in urban areas or paved highways. They're intended for rural or mountain roads and severely limit driving speed. I doubt a rental car company would allow them.
     
  4. I don't have any advise since I don't drive...but I do live in Jersey and yes we have been getting hit with a lot of snow..it also doesn't help that jersey is the home of "worst-drivers"
    (sorry if I offend any of my fellow Jerseyans !)
     
  5. +1.

    If you decide to do this (I wouldn't), allow tons of following distance, brake very slowly, take turns very slowly, and if you skid, turn in the direction of the skid (it's counter-intuitive). Look for non-icy parts of the road to drive in. If you cannot see the lane division lines, drive on the safe part of the road - not on ice or black ice - driving on packed snow may give you more traction if there is no dry or melted path.

    If you have to drive on an icy hill, you may slide backwards or forwards.

    Just don't do it. It's so easy to get into a fender bender even when you are careful.

    Or you can decide when you get there. Sometimes neighborhood roads are bad, but the main highways are dry.

    However if you don't know where you are going ahead of time, it may not be safe to make a last minute change of direction, so you could get lost by being safe and not doing that last minute turn.
     
  6. The most important thing for me is driving slowly and leaving PLENTY of time for reacting. I've lived in Connecticut my whole life and we've gotten a fair share of snow. I always make sure to just take my time, there is no rush and it's not worth the risk. If you have to break, start breaking far earlier than you normally would in case your vehicle is being stubborn.

    I cannot reiterate enough how important it is to leave space between you and the person in front of you! You can't predict what they're going to do so give yourself the opportunity to have more control over the situation!

    Good luck!
     
  7. Chains are a West Coast thing since we don't use salt on the roads out here primarily due to environmental/run off concerns. Contrary to what another poster said, tire chains are used (and at times required) on major freeways and state roads in the mountains during periods of heavy snowfall.

    Back East, road salt is used on the roads so a 4WD with all-weather or snow tires will be OK to drive. Check with your rental car company for availability since I'm guessing this type of vehicle will be hard to get.

    Like the others have said, leave lots of time to get to your destination, drive slowly, brake slowly, leave lots of distance between you and the cars in front of you, turn into the direction of a skid. Black ice is a hazard if the snow has melted during the day and re-freezes at night, so the same caution applies especially if the road looks clear.
     
  8. I would reiterate that you have to be VERY careful when turning. Often the part of the intersection you turn in hasn't been adequately plowed and it is easy to slide.
     
  9. Honestly, for your safety and the safety of others, please do not drive in the snow and ice. It's not something you can learn by reading, or practicing in an unfamiliar area. It really is a safety issue and keeping yourself and others out of danger.
     
  10. This.
    Take cabs, there will be plenty around.
     
  11. I live on Long Island where we've been getting snow a plenty ... All you need to do is drive slowly, carefully and leave plenty of distance between you and everyone else.

    As long as you're confident and you feel comfortable doing it, then you'll handle it no problem. But if you are unconfident and nervous, don't attempt it. An uncomfortable and unconfident driver does not belong on the road!
     
  12. If you have to drive in the snow (I drive everyday 40 miles each way) if you find yourself loosing control of the car due to ice or snow, look in the direction you want to go and you will regain control. Don't look at the snow bank you're about to crash into, look at the road straight ahead of you. Trust me it works. It has gotten me out of some situations that wouldnt have ended up well for my car or myself.
     
  13. ImageUploadedByPurseForum1393035049.079919.jpg

    Today's snowy drive, it's like this everyday! Thank God for Huge SUV's and 4x4. I don't find driving in the snow much different than driving in the rain ! Except when that rain freezes , like today. Some people are sliding right into the ditch !
     

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  14. Just a question of quriosity; do you use studded tires in the northern parts of US/Canada at all?
     
  15. Where I live, in the Western mountains above 6,000 feet, having studded snow tires put on for the winter is very common.