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Snow and ice can be nice – if you are prepared for it

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Winter-driving is no different in an alternative transportation (i.e. hybrid or electric) vehicle than in any conventional car or truck.

At the first snowfall of every winter, far too many Canadian drivers are being overwhelmed by the road conditions we encounter on that day when the streets are suddenly white.

In younger years, this writer has driven in various winter rallies; one memorable event was called ‘Dice on Ice’ — and it was. But even with experience of driving in difficult conditions, it takes a certain amount of time, and care and caution, getting used to driving on that white stuff again.

Here is more advice from the experts at the Road & Track magazine, my favorite for decades.

Patience with other drivers is the first order of the day. Having a light grip on the steering wheel and developing a feel for what the front wheels are doing takes time. We depend on heavy footwear to get around in winter, but boots are getting in the way of having a sensitive touch on the throttle. It is no coincidence that racing drivers wear extra-light driving shoes. BTW, my brother told me that in the army he learned to drive a tank by having to wear only socks during the first days of driving training.

Winter weather for us means just snow, but this article from the Washington Post claims that ‘There really are 50 Eskimo words for ‘snow’’. We may be able to differentiate between powder, wet and packed snow, but that is about the extent of my connection with winter.

Oh yes! — Black ice. — Dangerous.

Rather than carrying on about how to drive in these conditions, let the experts tell us what we should do, or not do, in order to “arrive alive” when the conditions on highways and byways can be hazardous.

P.S. Early on December 24, check this site for ‘Santa Claus is looking for alternative transportation’



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