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Winter Driving For Dummies

Snow Storm
Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

For the second day in a row it is snowing in southeastern South Dakota. And for the second day in a row we are getting reports of people sliding through stop lights. I know we didn’t get much snow last year, but the two winters before that were among the snowiest I can remember.

Since some people have forgotten how to drive in the snow, here are some winter driving tips for dummies:

  • When accelerating from a stop, your wheels may spin on the ice and snow. They don’t have the same traction as when it’s dry. Don’t try to sneak into traffic. You could get t-boned.
  • When driving on the Interstate during a snow storm there are two reasons you should slow down: 1) Visibility is reduced, you can’t see as far and can’t see a vehicle driving slower than you or an obstacle in your lane such as a deer or Volkswagen; 2) It’s slippery. 4-wheel drive helps you go, it doesn’t help you stop.
  • When approaching a stop sign or stop light, you need to slow down earlier in your approach than you can on dry roads. Why? It’s slippery. You can’t stop as fast. Remember there is a difference between stopping “sooner” and “faster.” Sooner means you take more time to stop, faster means 35 to 0 in a shorter amount of time. This isn’t possible when it snows.
  • If you moved to South Dakota from a warm weather state like Arizona or Florida, call in sick when it snows. You are only a danger to yourself and others. Many native South Dakotans have issues as well, but you will further complicate the problem.
  • Please use your “Stick With A Brush” (Contributed by listener Lori) – I know you may be running late to work and you don’t have time to mess with little things like clearing snow off the windows of your car, but you really should use the “Stick With A Brush” and clear all snow from your windows. Your “Stick With A Brush” is also equipped with a “Scraping Thingy” to remove ice and frost from the windows. This should also be used before driving.

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