After 20+ years here, I am a Texas girl through and through, but I am channeling my teens in the snowy Midwest for these tips. enjoy.
1. Give your car time to warm up. We are all busy girls on the go, but when the mercury dips, everything takes a little longer. Turn it on, blast the defrost, and head back inside for about 10-15 minutes. (with the doors locked, of course). Not only will your car drive better, but you will actually melt the snow and ice on all of your windows, which will make it much safer for you. And for those few of you that were too cool to pay attention in chemistry- DO NOT use hot water to melt the ice on your windshield. Sadly, I have seen such ideas since I have been here. That is a great way to end up with a cracked windshield, and a dunce cone.
2. Get a full tank of gas and have your fluids checked. Even if you manage not to slide off the road, you may be stuck in traffic that is not moving. No feeling is worse than being in bumper to bumper traffic almost on empty. (I can hear my daddy telling me to never have less than a 1/4 tank). Bonus- If you bat your eyes, you may even get a little help from the nice man at the service station.
3. 4-Wheel drive does not equal 4-Wheel stop. No matter how awesome your mammoth SUV is, it cannot defy the laws of nature. Give the car in front of you plenty of room and just slow down. We know that goes against our normal routine here in Dallas, but so does 1/4" of ice.
4. Have some supplies just in case. I was always taught to have the following in my car during the winter:
- a blanket to keep warm if you get stuck
- a few cans of peaches- they won't freeze and can give you a sugary boost to keep warm
- kitty litter to sprinkle under tires to get traction if you are stuck
- water because we need it more than anything.
5. Slow down. There is no where that you need to be that is more important than arriving safely. (Now I am hearing my mom's voice). Take your time, employ as much patience as you can, and just settle in for the ride. The good news is that we live in Dallas, where the world stops with the first snowflake, so people will understand. Even better- wait it out if you can. Make a fire, pour a glass of wine, and enjoy a little extra time with the ones you love. I suspect my Westie, Olive, will be getting more attention than she planned on!