tl;dr winter driving tips

  • go slow, stay low; signal early, brake early, start turns early
    • it’s 4 wheel DRIVE not 4 wheel STOP or STEER
      • 4WD will keep the tires moving which will help to not get stuck in snow, it does not affect any other systems
  • download caltrans quickmap + get familiar with it – it’s a bit clunky/not intuitive!
  • bring an extra towel or something for wiping off slushy shoes
  • be prepared! think thru any possible scenarios on the route and have a plan
    • possible scenarios –
      • it’s totally clear and beautiful! probably need sunglasses and snacks, be careful for melted snow that freezes in shaded areas especially
      • it’s kind of cloudy and eh outside. probably need sunglasses and a warm hat and gloves
      • it’s raining – definitely will want windshield wipers + fluid to be working, all brake lights/turn signals/headlights/brights
      • it’s raining and below freezing – be extra careful for ice
      • there’s a winter weather advisory – carry chains/cables (and possibly some cash for roadside installers); fit them in advance
      • it’s snowing too hard to be comfortable driving in – pull over, snuggle up in the prep blankets you brought, sip some water bottles (bring some toilet paper), enjoy some snacks until it’s safe to proceed (it stops snowing and/or plows come thru)

Last updated: Jan 25, 2022

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