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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 December 2, 2019

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

6. Give for the Joy of Giving

When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

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Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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