There are some cars that just aren’t built for driving in the snow. For example, walk into Porsche dealers today and unless you’re looking at the Cayenne, almost any model you choose will find it difficult to cope in the snow.
However, the truth is that there are only a small number of cars that don’t perform well in the snowy conditions and for the most part, it’s the driver who is at fault, as they aren’t taking into consideration the conditions, continuing driving normally as they would if it was a hot summer day.
Driving in the snow does require for a change of your driving habits, but arguably not as much or to the extent that you might think and the following steps explain how you can drive safely in the snow this winter.
1. Start off by checking your tires, both the tread and pressure. Your tires should be correctly inflated per your manufacturer’s guidelines and your tares should have at least 3mm of tread on them.
Yes, the legal minimum amount of tire tread is 1.6mm, but in treacherous conditions, it’s strongly recommended that you have as much as possible.
2. Next, you need to top up your engines fluids, adding winter additives to the windscreen washing fluid and the radiator, to ensure that you can see clearly at all times and that the car doesn’t succumb to the cold weather.
3. You then need to give your car a wash, or at least a quick clean, especially around the windows and mirrors to ensure that you visibility which is just as good as if you were driving in a clean car in summer.
4. When you set off, don’t rev the car too much. If the tires are spinning and you aren’t moving, try starting in second or even third gear if you can, revving the engine slowly and finding the biting point of the clutch smoothly.
5. Once driving, the most important thing you can keep in mind that you need to be staying several car lengths away from the vehicle in front at all times, as braking distances can be up to ten times greater in the snow and ice than normal.
You might think that the roads are clear as all the snow is on the side of the road, but black ice a large issue and being too close to the vehicle in front means that if you hit a patch of ice, it’s almost guaranteed that you’re going to drive into the back of the vehicle in front.
6. One of the easiest ways to remember how you should be driving in snowy conditions is to think back to when you took your test.
Slow on the accelerator, easy on the brakes, look along the road to see if you can slow down without using the brake and take corners slowly but surely – it’s all information that you already know from when you were first learning to drive and all you have to do is call on that knowledge to ensure that you’re time driving in the snow is as trouble free as possible.
Along much of the country’s coastal regions, big storms are an
unwelcome yearly visitor but don’t let stormy weather keep you from
enjoying living in some of the most beautiful areas in the country. Some
people will tell you that storm-proofing your home is an unnecessary
expense. It’s true that not all storms reach the hurricane or tornado
level of destruction, but why not play it safe and be prepared?
What could start an avalanche is never found out. Book marketing also
has a feeling of being quite buried. You can focus on the big sites and
press releases in order to get main media hits. This needs time and
greatest trying, and lots of times do not work well. I don’t mean you
ought to not think about a People Magazine or a USA Today or the New
York Times. Yet books are an interesting thing. You never know what a
big slide starts to become a bestseller. The reason is books are still
sold the old fashioned way–by word of mouth.
In the internet age we are constantly bombarded with notices. So and so wants
to be your friend, so and so wants you to join their group, an email
from an old friend who noticed you had published your book. Our email
boxes bulge with unanswered queries as we go thundering down the road
for Larry King or Good Morning America. But the truth is we just don’t
know what will be the stick, the rock that will break the precipice. I
know lots of authors who have done the big shows and their books still
didn’t hit. That doesn’t mean these shows didn’t affect them, just not
the way they thought they would. Big publishers put thousands of dollars
behind a new author in promotion and the book falls from site. Why? No
one really knows.
When I was trying to get my first book published I used to send out six
queries a week. Sometimes I would just get out four or five and I would
carry the last one around with me unable to find a mailbox or a stamp. Many times, the publisher or agent who would respond would be to that last query! Who knows why, but it
happened more than once. It is probably just that last unturned rock,
that final exhausted moment where you put the final three chapters in
the mail that the Gods line up for you. Who knows, but you really can’t
afford to not do it.
I had an email the other night from someone I knew in college. They said they heard I published another novel. I was tired and had been traveling all day and almost didn’t respond, dangerous because then other emails would flood in and I might never get
to it. But just before I went to bed I responded and asked how he was
doing and yes I published another book and here is a link to the book on
Amazon. Maybe he will buy it maybe he won’t. Maybe it didn’t matter
that I responded. But then again, maybe he is a film producer, a friend
of a friend who knows Oprah or who is in a book club or who has a large
network of friends he emails regularly. The point we just don’t know
what pebble might start an avalanche–so we better make sure we give
each one a good kick.
In Florida the stormy weather can include thunderstorms, tornadoes, and
hurricanes. Storms are so part of the culture here that the state
requires that shingles pass a wind test of 110 mph to be approved. Both
your yard and your home need attention for the best outcome when the
stormy season is upon us.
The most important aspect of storm-proofing your house is your roof. Make sure that your shingles are in good repair and properly glued down. If you have any concerns about
them, they can be spot glued for additional strength. This will help
keep water damage out of your home.
Just like shingles, siding can be pulled up and off your house by storm winds. Make sure that your siding is properly nailed down. Aluminum siding will resist being pulled
off more than vinyl siding, but can be dented by flying debris.
Either invest in storm shutters or impact resistant windows. One major cost to
homeowners in a hurricane is caused by projectiles smashing windows and
allowing the storm into their home. This is also why it’s a good
investment to purchase metal outer doors and a good quality garage door
that is rated for higher pressures. Make sure that you replace the
weather stripping on your doors as soon as it starts to wear. Weather
stripping can make a world of difference to how much water can get
forced in about doors and windows.
Don’t forget your basement too!
You can’t weather-proof it from the outside, but you can have a
water-proof barrier painted on the inside of your basement to help keep
water out. Make sure that your eaves are functioning properly. If you
have trees around your home make sure that you clean the eaves fairly
often. Backed up eaves can cause your basement to flood.
The drainage issue leads us into the realm of storm-proofing in your yard.
One of the biggest issues here is making sure that you have adequate
drainage because a tropical storm can dump a huge amount of water on
your property in a very short time.
Maintain the trees on your property. Make sure that your trees are healthy and unlikely to come down in a storm. Better yet, make sure that you don’t have any tall
trees near your house. Shorter trees will do better in a storm because
they are closer to the ground.
If you live in a region that has storms with high winds, avoid landscaping with rocks. Strong winds like tornadoes will pick up anything it can and use it to hammer at your
house. Don’t give it any ammunition. If you have items like garden
statuary or birdbaths in your yard, make sure you secure them or move
them to your garage in case of strong storm warnings.
As last minute prep for an imminent storm, it’s also a good idea to pick any
vegetables from your garden, make sure that any chemicals or fuels are
stored safely in sealed containers in your garage, and take any fish out
of your pond. Any vegetables in your garden may be inedible after a
storm due to flood contamination. Yard and garden chemicals like
fertilizers can get waterlogged and seep into your yard or garage if not
properly sealed up, making for a nasty clean up.
The thing to remember with living in an area that gets big storms is that it’s always
better to be prepared so that in storm season you don’t have an
overwhelming amount of things to take care of. Spread your prep out
during the year so that you don’t have to do it all or spend a lot of
money all at once.
For anyone who lives in an area that experiences storms, the need to takes steps to storm-proof your house is a fact of life. For those of us living in locations that get yearly
storms ranging from thunderstorms and tropical storms to tornadoes and
hurricanes, we know that an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.