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7 Things You Need to Know Before You Drive in the Snow

7 Things You Need to Know Before You Drive in the Snow

It can be nice waking up to a fresh blanket of snow. It’s peaceful, pretty, and can be fun if you’ve got the day off. If you’re not one of the lucky few who get to stay in and enjoy the view, however, it can be a real pain to drive in (not to mention dangerous). Knowing what to do, and what not to do, can really save you time and keep you much safer on the roads. Here are seven tips on how to maneuver the roads in wintery weather.

1. Get yourself ready to drive in the snow.

This means clearing a path for your car by shoveling the driveway and scraping away any snow or ice on the mirrors and lights on your car. Be sure to leave your house earlier than you normally would. This extra time means you won’t feel rushed when driving in the hazardous conditions, which keeps you, and everyone else on the road, safer. If you live in an area that frequently experiences heavy snow, get snow tires put on your vehicle to ensure your tires have better traction in the slippery conditions.

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2. Do a quick maintenance check on your car.

Make sure your defrosters are working, as well as your defogger and antifreeze. Also check your car battery. If snow is blown up under the hood of the car overnight, it can drain the battery without you realizing it. If anything doesn’t seem to be working properly, see if there is anything you can do to get it going again. If not, don’t risk it! Arrange alternative travel plans.

3. Drive slowly.

Winter weather can wreak havoc on roads, especially if your town hasn’t adequately prepared by putting salt down. Black ice is of particular concern, as it is very hard to see but very slippery. Drive more slowly than you normally would. Drive under the speed limit and watch out for people who are driving too fast, as they are more likely to run into problems on the road.

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4. Keep your distance from other drivers.

Stay far behind other drivers. Many people recommend keeping about three cars’ lengths behind the car in front of you. The last thing you want to happen is to start to slide forward into another vehicle because you were too close. By the same token, try to warn drivers behind you of your behaviors. Before making a full stop, tap your brakes several times to flash your brake lights. This will alert the person behind you that you are about to stop.

5. Be prepared to deal with skidding.

If your car starts to skid, don’t panic. This will only make matters worse. Remove your foot from the accelerator, but do not brake—this can just make the skid worse, and can potentially make you lose control of the car completely. Steer in the direction you want your car to go and slowly recover from the skid. Take it extra slow for a couple of minutes after a skid to give your tires a chance to regain proper traction.

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6. Take turns slowly and with caution.

Turning while on roads that have been affected by winter weather can be iffy. It’s easy to complete the turn too widely, as the car tends to move more on the snow than it would under normal driving conditions. A good rule of thumb is to complete the turn the same way with the steering wheel (don’t jerk it, but turn it smoothly and quickly) but go slowly and while pumping the brakes if necessary.

7. Keep your headlights on.

Yes, even during the day. You want other motorists to be as aware of your presence as possible, especially when snowfall is heavy.

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Maggie Heath

Maggie is a passionate writer who blogs about communication and lifestyle on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 24, 2021

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

We’ve all done it. We’ve gone out and bought useless gadgets that we don’t really need, just because they seemed really cool at the time. Then, we are stuck with a bunch of junk, and end up tossing it or trying to sell it on Ebay.

On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome tech inventions that are actually useful. For instance, many of the latest home gadgets do some of your work for you, from adjusting the home thermostat to locking your front door. And, if used as designed, these tools should really help to make your life a lot easier—and that’s not just a claim from some infomercial trying to sell you yet another useless gadget.

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Take a look at some of the most popular “smart gadgets” on the market:

1. Smart Door Locks

A smart lock lets you lock and unlock your doors by using your smartphone, a special key fob, or biometrics. These locks are keyless, and much more difficult for intruders to break into, making your home a lot safer. You can even use a special app to let people into your home if you are not there to greet them.

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2. Smart Kitchen Tools

Wouldn’t you just love to have a pot of coffee waiting for you when you get home from work? What about a “smart pan” that tells you exactly when you need to flip that omelet? From meat thermometers to kitchen scales, you’ll find a variety of “smart” gadgets designed to make culinary geeks salivate.

3. Mini Home Speaker Play:1

If you love big sound, but hate how much space big speakers take up, and if you want a stereo system that is no bigger than your fist, check out the Play:1 mini speaker. All you have to do is plug it in, connect, and then you can stream without worrying about any interruptions or interface. You can even add onto it, and have different music playing in different rooms.

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4. Wi-Fi Security Cameras

These are the latest in home security, and they connect to the Wi-Fi in your home. You can use your mobile devices to monitor what is going on in your home at all times, no matter where you are. Options include motion sensors, two-way audio, and different recording options.

5. Nest Thermostat

This is a thermostat that lives with you. It can sense seasonal changes, temperature changes, etc., and it will adjust itself automatically. You will never have to fiddle with a thermostat dial or keypad again, because this one basically does all of the work for you. It can also help you to save as much as 12% on heating bills, and 15% on cooling bills.

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6. Smart Lighting

Control your home lighting from your remote device. This is great if you are out and want to make sure that there are some lights on. It is designed to be energy efficient, so it will pay for itself over time because you won’t have to spend so much on your monthly energy bills.

7. Google Chromecast Ultra

Whether you love movies, television shows, music, etc., you can stream it all using Google Chromecast Ultra. Stream all of the entertainment you love in up to 4K UHD and HDR, for just $69 monthly.

8. Canary

This home security system will automatically contact emergency services when they are needed. This system offers both video and audio surveillance, so there will be evidence if there are any break-ins on your property. You can also use it to check up on what’s happening at home when you are not there, including to make sure the kids are doing their homework.

Featured photo credit: Karolina via kaboompics.com

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