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black ice

Behind the Wheel

The United States is in a crisis.

December 6, 2013
A weather crisis, that is. Granted the above photo was taken earlier today, the point is still very much obvious: It is a cold, cold world out there, and that means potentially icy roads and lots of car drama. With all that said, I’d like to take a moment and share some suggestions about tires, more specifically tires in the snow and the safety that still needs to come with them. It doesn’t matter if you have the biggest, baddest truck in town, if you have old tires, your car isn’t going to get very far (or at least get very far safely) in the snow. Take a look at the advice I gave on Thursday: Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 2.29.18 PM Some great comments were given by a few of my followers. Take heed! Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 2.34.16 PM Yes, you’re obviously find peace having a car/truck with 4WD, but it doesn’t mean you need to act fearless. The rules still apply to you just as much as they do to the little smart car up the road with rear-wheel drive. Go slow, and go safely.
Behind the Wheel

Ice, ice, baby

November 26, 2013
One of the most terrifying things in my life is driving on icy roads. Don’t believe me? Check out my last post. Every time I drive/walk anywhere on ice, it pretty much looks like this: 58097-sliding-Goat-ice-gif--watch-an-nXDT It’s pretty amusing for everyone except me. That being said, a little snow often brings a lot of terror on the roads. If you hit the ice right, you’ll find yourself with zero control of your car and where it ends up. Granted, sometimes people get extremely lucky: 1358273993_superman_stops_car_from_sliding_into_another_car But people aren’t always as lucky as the folks above. That being said, I’m going to give all of you some tips for driving in the snow/on ice. 1. Firstly, don’t be a hero (or in this sense, don’t be dumb) — there’s no need to be zipping around, flying around corners, or riding the car in front of you when the road is covered in ice. Slow your roll. Drive slowly, slowly apply brakes when necessary, and take corners extremely slowly. 2. If you live in a place where it tends to snow quite a bit, it’s worth it to invest in snow chains or winter tires. This does not include all-season tires. 3. If your vehicle is rear-wheel drive, place some sandbags in your trunk over the rear axle. The extra weight will allow more traction for your wheels in snowy conditions. Make sure not to add too much, because that could sling out the rear of the car in a turn. 4. If you find yourself sliding, let up on the gas and gently turn your wheels in the direction you want to go — it’s as easy as that. Make sure you don’t over-correct re-apply gas until you’re headed in the direction you want to go. 5. If you start hydroplaning, ease off the gas (but not completely). 6. When faced with a hill, do not slow down at the base (you need enough momentum to get up the hill, after all). But when you are about to drive down a hill, slow down before you start heading down, and the coast down as long as you can. 7. Don’t get too tense. White-knuckling your steering wheel will only stress you out even more. Just learn to relax.
Behind the Wheel, Holiday

What's the scariest experience you've ever had while driving?

November 22, 2013
You know that feeling you get when you’re driving in your car, you look away from the road for half a second, look back and suddenly the car in front of you is a lot closer than it was last time? You hit the breaks and clench the steering wheel and pray that A) you don’t hit the car in front of you, and B) your car doesn’t loudly screech to a stop. Often times it’s no harm, no foul — you vow to  never even blink again while driving and thus will never be caught off guard with slowing cars in front of you. But other times it can result in terrifying incidents. My question for all of my readers: What’s the scariest thing to ever happen to you while driving? I have a one particular story off the top of my head that I’ll share, which is especially applicable because it was around Thanksgiving a few years ago.
I was heading back to school post-Thanksgiving with two other friends. The drive was normally a six-hour one, but once we hit the halfway mark, we also hit a huge snowstorm. Not only was the snow pounding down, but the road was covered in black ice. Traffic was moving pretty slowly to stay safe, but we passed overturned semi-trucks and other cars that had veered off of the road because of the crazy weather. At one point, we were cruising around 30 mph and saw traffic slow in front of us. My friend who was driving hit the brakes but kept sliding towards the car right in front of us! She managed to veer off the road so as to avoid hitting the car, but it was still pretty awful. The weather ended up being so bad that we stayed at a friend of a friend of a friend’s house in the area for the night, and then took off early, early the next morning. Even the next morning, though there weren’t many cars on the road, the road was still covered in snow and snow plows trying to clear the way. Plus, we still decided to drive pretty slowly so as to avoid any potential danger. The three hours it should’ve taken us to get back to school ended up taking us six hours. This was a few years back, but I can still feel the stress I had for an entire 15-straight hours!