Growing up in Wyoming, as soon as I was old enough to drive, my parents took me out frequently into the snowy weather to teach me the dos and don'ts of driving when the weather is inclimate.  My mother, who prided herself on the fact that her Ford truck could pull out all the Chevys that got stuck in the blizzards, took me out one day to teach me how to correct fishtailing on icy roads.

She also took me driving to learn how to get "un-stuck" when the snow became too much. This lead to us calling my father to bring a tow rope, because both of us were well and truly stuck.

The lessons also stuck, however, and whenever the ground starts to get cold and the driving requires a little more skill, those skills come back up and keep me from driving off a cliff when the Wyoming roads get as slippery as a banana peel.  This also leads to a LOT of road rage, watching drivers who are probably perfectly safe doing completely unsafe things as soon as the snow starts to fall. So here are some tips that I likely screamed at my windshield at a few people while driving this weekend. Please take them to heart. 

Tip #1: Don't Ride Your Brakes In Icy Or Snowy Weather. 

This should be a no-brainer, yet heading down the summit on I-80, I saw far too many brake lights for how snowy the roads were. Yes, it's good to go slow when the weather isn't the best, but using your brakes in excess is the easiest way to end up in a ditch. Avoid accelerating or decelerating quickly, especially on ice. When in doubt, slow down by taking your foot off the gas and allowing your car to naturally slow. It's much safer, and it prevents any cars behind you from needing to use their brakes in return.


The amount of cars I passed during our last snow-storm who had no lights on whatsoever was terrifying. Here's a good general rule of thumb: If it's not a clear, bright, hot and sunny day: Turn your headlights on. It's not even always to help you see, sometimes, it's just to help other drivers see you, which is probably handy if you don't want them to accidentally hit you.

Tip #3: Try, Really Hard, To Use Common Sense. 

If you don't think that car in the perpendicular lane will be able to stop in time, mayyyybe don't pull out in front of them. If you're not sure if your small car will get high-centered on that snow drift, might be a good idea to stay away from it. If you see ice on the ground, going too fast or flipping u-turns might not be the best idea. And, the most frustrating of all, parking lines still exist even if you can't see them because of the snow. Try to park like a functioning human being. Thanks.

All-in-all, be safe out there. Keep an emergency kit in your car, don't drive like an idiot, and always drive as if everyone else on the road is.

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