05 December 2009

Lots of snow

Winter is finally here. So far we've had barely any snow and it hasn't been too cold, but in the last day or so Mother Nature saw fit to dump about 15-20cm (6"-8") of snow. Now it looks like Christmas :)

All that snow made the roads truly awful. What makes them just a tad worse is that a few days ago we had a little bit of snow. That little bit melted just enough to make the roads glassy. So now we have thick, mushy snow on top of a thin film of ice. This is where I'm glad that I own a tank for a car.

My lovely car is a big, four door, V8 Impala that chews through the snow. It has this really neat feature called 'traction'. I am loving traction. Every time my car started to get stuck in a mound of snow or slip on the ice, the traction kicked in and I didn't get stuck or slide around. Much. I could still feel my car slipping but mostly during a turn. The traction doesn't kick in if the tires are sliding sideways. But traction control combined with a heavy car and slow driving made things less scary. Except the people tailgating me. Seriously, get off my butt in weather like this.

I did have to go out in the ick today, which is good. I am nervous about driving in weather like this so the more practice I get when the roads aren't crowded the better I'll be. So today I learned how to handle my car when it slides, how to rock my car to get unstuck, and how to brake in slippery stuff. My dad taught me two things that helped immensely: the first is that if you start to get stuck, try not to stop your car. The more you stop to shift gears the more of a rut you will create. Keep slowly plowing away if you can to get the momentum going and you should be ok. Assuming you aren't stuck from sliding into a curb or something. The second is that when you brake, use a series of tiny taps to get your car to stop. No slamming on the brakes even with ABS. Lightly tap over and over quickly and your car will come to a stop without sliding. Assuming you are traveling below the speed limit, that is.

Thank you daddy, and bless the inventors of traction control :)


Anonymous said...

The Beast had traction control, although that's not what they called it then (and I can't remember just now what it was called) and I really missed it when we bought the first Crown Vicki.

Since then, I've become a better winter rider than driver:)
Love, Mom

Chantelle said...

I wish I had traction control on our car! I'm glad you have it because it makes driving easier.

The Beast was great in the winter. I don't remember what the traction control was called, either, but it had it. I remember one time when even that wasn't enough for the conditions - I'd been skiing with Trina and had rented skis from someplace on 109th street. Mom was driving, and we got as far as the Pleasantview park when the car wouldn't stay in its lane so we turned around and went back home.

Conditions were so bad because it had been raining when the temperature dropped 20 degrees or something in a couple of hours.. and then it snowed. The ice under the snow made for super-bad roads.

/end the trip down memory lane and the hijacked comments.

Enjoy your traction control :)

Meg said...


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