It’s back-to-school season, which means winter is fast approaching. If you have a fear of driving in the snow, it’s a good time to brush up your skills with some winter driving safety tips.
- Good lights: Your headlights and taillights should be clear of snow. This will help other drivers to see you. Get a new set of headlight lenses if yours are old or sand-pitted. Make sure both headlights work and replace broken tail and running lights.
- Visibility: Make sure you can see well. Clean the outside and inside of your windows thoroughly. Replace any old windshield wiper blades. Apply a water-shedding material on the outside of all windows. This includes the mirrors. Your windshield washers should work well and be filled with anti-icing fluid.
- Tire check: Use snow tires (sometimes called “winter tires”). Adequate snow traction requires at least 6/32-inch deep tread. Summer tires have little or no grip in snow. “All-season” tires don’t always have good snow traction either: If the roads where you live are regularly covered with snow, get snow tires.
- Check for black ice: If the road looks slick, it probably is, but black ice can make it slick without it looking that way. Also called “glare ice”, drivers often don’t see it at all. Feel for black ice instead with a smooth brake application or by turning the wheel slightly. Does the road feel slick? Then slow down.
- Make turns slowly: Many motorists have lost control of their cars along icy curves. Slow down. Speeding on slippery curves is one of the top 25 causes of car accidents. Make sure to drive the posted speed limit. Avoid an accident by driving cautiously.
- Reduce speed on snowy roads: Remember your vehicle can’t slow down or stop rapidly on snowy roads. Turning performance is also decreased. On snow-covered roads there is significantly less friction between the road and your tires. Make sure to slow down if the road is snow packed.
- Avoid icy uphill driving: Try to not drive up steep hills when it’s icy. If you can’t avoid it, go up the hill slowly in 2nd gear. Steer around obstacles and use feather braking to keep your momentum. Don’t stop until you’ve cleared the top of the hill.
We should all be more cautious driving in the snow. Fear of driving in the snow is healthy if it makes us drive more safely. It’s a way of protecting ourselves and our fellow drivers. Thanks for taking winter driving safety seriously. It makes the roads safer for all of us.
Living in Florida my idea of winter is anytime the temperature drops below 60 °. At that point, I do the shiver-me-timbers dance. You do not want to know!
I have a rare disease called Coldaphobia. As far as I know, there is no cure for this except escaping to Florida. Even here, cold will manage to sometimes poke its nose into my business. All I can do at the time is sneeze, hoping it will scare the cold away.
Experiencing a rather cold afternoon this past week, I queried the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage on this subject.
"Why," I asked rather philosophically, "Did God give us winter?"
There are times when I do muse philosophically with a far-off look.
In this mode, I sometimes think about that philosophical question, "How many angels can dance on the point of a needle?" I've often mused on this question, but the problem is I do not know how big angels are and if they really can dance.
I guess it is in the same category as the question, "If a tree fell in the middle of a forest and nobody's around, does it make a sound?"
I like to think along those lines because there is no correct answer to any of them. So, my answer is right, which makes me feel good about myself. If there is anything I want to do, it is to feel good about myself. After all, nobody else feels good about me so it might as well be me.
With all that in mind, the question that I posed to my wife deserved an answer. "Why did God give us winter?"
My wife was busy in the kitchen at the time, but she turned around, put both hands on her hips and said, "So you could go out and buy a new sweater." Then she went back to her kitchen activity.
Of course, it did not really answer my question. Why is God interested in my sweaters? Why can not he allow me to have a climate that eliminates the use of sweaters? I could handle that.
Then my wife interrupted my muse session and said, "God gave us winter so that we would appreciate summer when it came." Then she went back to her kitchen work.
As I thought about that, I had to admit that she is right.
That happens all the time. God gives us something that is not very comfortable at the time and then when it goes away we appreciate the quiet time.
Just like the neighbors when they are playing their music so loud it is thumping in my head, when they turn it off I appreciate the silence. But when all I have is silence, I fail to really value it.
Getting back to winter. Of course, from my perspective, I can not see any real value in winter. Sure, some people like snow. The only snow I like is on postcards. I have had enough of snow in my life that I do not want any more of it.
Some people enjoy the snow; sledding, skiing, making snow angels. All of these things I can do without, thank you very much.
However, as I was shivering this terrible winter afternoon, I got to thinking about how wonderful summer really is. In the middle of summer, I do not really appreciate it, as I should. Once it has gone, I sure do miss it.
As I was shivering, I was thinking about all of the positive things about summer. And boy, are there many positive things about summer.
For me, the most positive thing about summer is the fact that I am not dealing with cold. I love the heat and it can not get too hot for me.
As I was thinking along this line, I remembered one summer afternoon that was so stinking hot that could hardly breathe. My wife was sitting across the porch, she happened to sigh very deeply and say, "I'm tired of this hot weather."
Of course, I love my wife and who would not, but I can not identify with being tired of hot weather. How can you be tired of hot weather?
For me, I enjoy hot weather and the hotter the better for me. I do not mind sweating. One of the best things about summer is when I can say, "Honey, I would love to do that or go there but it's really too hot." She will smile at me and say, "Yes, I think you're right. It's too hot."
So why did God really create winter? It is in the winter when I am shivering so much, coughing and sneezing that I really begin to appreciate the significance of summer.
In order to get us to appreciate something God takes it away from us temporarily until we come to the point of full appreciation. I believe God knows what he is doing. Going through a trial with all kinds of frustration and aggravation, I begin to appreciate those quiet times of waiting upon God.
I wonder if that's what Peter had in mind when he wrote, "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found to pride and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: "(1 Peter 1: 7).
All those trials of winter lead me to praise God for the glory of summer.