View Poll Results: Is it a smart idea for me to drive in the snow?

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  • Yeah.... why not?

    7 70.00%
  • Don't do it!

    3 30.00%
  • Where are the mountains?

    0 0%
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  1. #1

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    Winter driving questions for the masters

    So as y'all know this is my first winter in the mountains. And pre-moving up here I was the most "ack! Rain!" driver out there. So now that there's snow and rain and ice and ohmygosh scariness, and I need help and it's probably basic high school science.

    It snows at 32 degrees right? I know that, but when does there get to be black ice (because I know black ice is bad for you flat landers, but for people on the mountain if we slide, we slide across the road and then drop down the hill, which for me is about 6,000 feet! Ack!)? What do I need to look for in black ice? If it's 37 degrees feels like 34, dew point 16 degrees, and it is 42% humidity, what does that mean for me driving? Can there be ice and frozen water when it's not 32 degrees?

    I drove in the snow for the first time ever today and was totally scared. But I need to go down the hill tomorrow for a TGIO party for my writing group, and (this is seriously huge issue) we ran out of t.p. I also need cough syrup. Ack! When I drove today it was 29 degrees when I drove into my block and I think some white hairs grew because I was so nervous. I drove my parents Subaru Legacy with S&S tires (which I think are one step under snow tires), and am going to drive it tomorrow. It has all wheel drive, so they say I don't need chains.

    I need help! I need T.P. and cough syrup! And part of me is like "I can call someone up here to get me the TP!" But I don't know a whole lot people in Running Springs. So I need to know when can I drive and when can't I....

    I accidentally hit the poll button and then was like "ack!" So yeah I didn't know how to un-poll.
    Last edited by knittingknerd; 12-01-2007 at 08:45 PM.

  2. #2

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    • Skeevy Ray Vaughan
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    Re: Winter driving questions for the masters

    I hate to say you are going to have to learn eventually. I had to drive in Runnings Springs about 3 years ago. It was horrible! Living there you are going to have to learn soon enough. I'd be a passsenger with a seasoned veteran. I truly get sick thinking of driving in the snow. That explains why I'm a lifelong SoCaler.

    Good luck!

  3. #3

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    Re: Winter driving questions for the masters

    The three most important things I have learned are:

    1) pump your brakes to slow down or stop... do not slam on them or you will just ski.

    2) do not use your brakes heavily while turning, or you wont turn. This one I learned from experience my first time on frozen snow... hit a curb BAD. Tapping them is OK I think.

    3) go as slow as you want, better safe than sorry. Clearly if you are going to hit something you would rather be doing it at a slow speed.

    Getting out of our driveway can be tricky, but if I can make it out I follow these rules and they work for me.

    Edit to add: Aslo stick to as many main roads as possible. More traffic breaks up the snow, makes it more slushy and wet. Side roads tend to remain slick until it warms up enough to melt.
    Last edited by LLEBREKNIT; 12-01-2007 at 08:53 PM.

  4. #4

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    Re: Winter driving questions for the masters

    Okay what's frozen snow? I think I pumped my brakes when I went down the little street that is like a little hill covered in slush, I just pressed my brakes little by little. So scary.

    Chad- I drove down the hill with my dad today (it started snowing at 10:15 and we had to leave for the airport by 10:30) and he slid a few inches a few times. He says he's a seasoned snow driver, but I am thinking about it now.... he moved from New York to California when he was 15... Hm...

  5. #5

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    Re: Winter driving questions for the masters

    Quote Originally Posted by knittingknerd View Post
    Okay what's frozen snow? I think I pumped my brakes when I went down the little street that is like a little hill covered in slush, I just pressed my brakes little by little. So scary....
    I just meant snow that is extra compact from being driven on, and froze overnight. So long as it does not freeze slush is not nearly as dangerous. When our slick roads turn to slush I am so happy.

    Here we cant even get out of our driveway, it is supposed to warm up and rain by 4am and I hope it does.. I have some early morning shopping to do!

  6. #6

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    Re: Winter driving questions for the masters

    Just drive slow and carefully. We used to get a lot of snow, but it's been a few years. I really don't mind driving in it, but once it starts to stick to the roads you really have to slow down.

  7. #7

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    Re: Winter driving questions for the masters

    One of the trickiest part about driving on snow in the hills is that it is really easy to get going too fast, but you often need speed to keep control and keep moving especially when going up hill. I have often seen cars lose control when stopped as they slide back down a hill. Lots of practice and thinking two or three steps ahead is required. It tends to be easier to think ahead when you are driving in an area you know.

    I don't know how often or for how long the roads are snow and ice in Running Springs but I used to live in a hilly area that would get snow from November until April and there would be times that it was just not safe to drive, recognizing that helps too. Being prepared for that is helpful also.

    PS Afterdoing it for over 10 years I have got to say that I am glad I don't have to do that day in and day out anymore. I remember lots of tension filled drives up and down the hills.
    Last edited by mousechild; 12-01-2007 at 09:29 PM.
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  8. #8

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    Re: Winter driving questions for the masters

    Like today I was thinking "Santa's Village area will be scary, near the dump where the road angles and curves will not be fun and take the 18 not 330" so I tried to be really careful around there. But what was off was I was planning to park at the church and walk a half mile home thinking the church parking lot would have been plowed. It wasn't. So that threw a wrench in my plan because I had to go down All View... down a little hill and then down my street which is down another little hill. I mean, once I put my hazard lights on I think some people got the hint, and I did that in my little area. But I was at home, and heard people zooming down the street...I am such a scared driver who drives slow most of the time anyways...

    But at 34 degrees, what does that mean ice and snow wise? See I knew people here would be cool compared to Rimoftheworld where people are like "why did you move there if you can't drive?!" I need TP, cough syrup, and it occured to me I don't have anymore iron supplements. So I need to get out of here....I don't want to use paper towels!

  9. #9

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    • Skeevy Ray Vaughan
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    Re: Winter driving questions for the masters

    KK, Here's how much I hate driving in the snow:

    I'd reach out of my bedroom window, grab a fistfull of leaves, put them in the oven on warm til they dry out. Then I'd use them for TP instead of driving in that mess. hehe.

  10. #10

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    Re: Winter driving questions for the masters

    You'll learn.

    Find a nice deserted area and practice. Get a little speed (a *little*!!!), hit the brakes and turn the wheel. You will slide. Now practice getting some control (you turn the wheel so your wheels are pointing into the turn, so the car's essentially trying to go the direction you are actually spinning in, then once you regain control, steer out of it a little), so that you're prepared when you skid not-on-purpose. Slow down before you get to things like stop signs or railroad tracks if you see the lights come on.

    Keeping control - always keep your changes in motion slow and steady. Gently let off the gas instead of doing so sharply. Same with applying gas- slow and gentle. Sudden changes of momentum can be unpleasant. Gently tap the brakes; if you slide, let off until you regain control, then tap them gently again. That's "pumping" them. Kind of like a slow-mo anti-lock brake. I'm not sure how an automatic anti-lock-brake system handles snow.

    It's hard to describe and I hope I haven't confused you. Basically, get out and try a few things, in a nice open area like a parking lot. One without parking blocks, of course. I have faith that you can learn to drive in the snow. **hug**
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  11. #11

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    Re: Winter driving questions for the masters

    Since you are so inexperienced and skeered I would not suggest your 1st or 2nd lesson be on your hill. I'd venture to much safer level ground as alphabassetgrrl suggests. There's nothing more stressful than trying to drive on ice/snow on a hill in someone else's car when you're not sure how....it uses up waaay too many vitamins! For your immediate needs, I would perhaps check into a 'delivery service' and when you have a chance to spend some time with an experienced driver on some kinder gentler terrain, you get some much needed training under your belt! Living where you do, it's essential to learn to be at one with the weather conditions! Otherwise you're gonna be old way before your time from all the stress. (or learn to grow soft petaled shrubbery!).
    Just countin' the days til the next visit!

  12. #12

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    Re: Winter driving questions for the masters

    Only problem is Running hills doesn't have a lot flat easy areas to drive in. Good luck KK! This is some great advice your fellow Micechatters are giving you.

  13. #13

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    Re: Winter driving questions for the masters

    You can easily have snow/ice on the roads at 34dgrees...even up into the 40s depending on other conditions. Don't rely on the temperature as your gauge to what kind of snow you'll find.

    If your car has a lower drive gear (1,2,3 etc.) drive in the lowest gear up/down the hill, this will help you go slower. Give yourself 5x the normal distance between cars on the hill than you normally would. So what if other people think you're driving like a granny. You don't want to mash into anything!

    Best thing to do tho' seriously, is practice in the snow n' get a feel for how the car reacts to your actions. A deserted parking lot is prime place to do 'donuts'...skid...straighten out of a slide...it's very empowering.
    Just countin' the days til the next visit!

  14. #14

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    Re: Winter driving questions for the masters

    well, soft shrubberies are always an option....
    Just countin' the days til the next visit!

  15. #15

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    Re: Winter driving questions for the masters

    Yeah there's like no flat land up here. I thinking maybe the school but even that... it's a schlep. I am using kleenex for tp and took 2 Do-Do-Do-Dora (whenever I say "Dora the Explorer" I need to say the little do-do-do thing. It's odd.) vitamins to get the iron.

    There's a reason that I came here, rimoftheworld.net would have teased me. See this is awesome advice. The car has a thing where you can switch it from automatic to manual, I just wasn't paying attention to my dad as he was talking about it... because he was talking about it while sliding.

    Chad- we don't have leaves. We have pine needles. Ouch!

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