When I was a child, I remember my father waving his fist at bad drivers and yelling, “Hey! Where’d you get your license? Sears and Roebuck?”
We’re not even halfway through winter and I’m already resisting the temptation to wave my fist (and perhaps some one fingered salutes) at some truly BAD drivers I’ve encountered on Rt. 49 going in and out of Waterville Valley. PLEASE, people, slow down, clear your windshields, get off my bumper, and use your directionals!
I learned to drive 40 years ago in rather atrocious northern New Hampshire winter conditions. I remember my dad accompanying me to an empty high school parking lot on a snowy or icy Saturday or Sunday and teaching me how to handle skids and spins. He taught me to be prepared for anything by packing my car with scrapers, lock de-icers, cat litter & sand, a mini shovel, chains, windshield washer fluid, blankets, extra clothes, food…we were doomsday preppers way before it became cool.
To this day, I remember my father’s pearls of winter driving wisdom:
Allow extra time to reach your destination when driving on slick winter roads.
Slow down and avoid making sudden moves – no fast turns, no quick acceleration and no hard breaking. If you don’t have time to slow down, when will you have time for an accident?
Be aware that bridges and overpasses freeze before road surfaces.
Freezing air circulating above and below the bridge causes ice to form more rapidly than on a surface that has freezing air above and warmer ground below.
Remember that visibility is an important factor for safe driving during a winter storm.
Keep your lights on and clear the windshield of accumulations of ice and snow if necessary.
Allow additional stopping distance on any road that is not dry by doubling the Four-Second Rule.
When the rear bumper of the car ahead passes any designated spot, make sure you reach the same spot in four seconds or more. Doubling or even tripling this safety measure is especially wise during winter driving, but can be practiced throughout the year.