Introduction: How to Drive Safely in a Snowstorm

About: I love being outdoors, hiking, camping, kayaking and appreciating Nature. I love figuring things out and using my head and hands in creative ways and then sharing what I've learned on Instructables and on my Y…

The best advice for driving safely in a snowstorm is to postpone your trip. Emergency vehicles and snow plows need people to stay off the roads because accidents can block the road, preventing them from doing their jobs. (I made my trip in a snowstorm because my elderly father needed his medication from the pharmacy.)

Step 1: Step 1: Clean Off Your Car for Good Visibility


See the videos in the comments section below that show what can happen when you don't clean the snow off your car's roof. Its dangerous. I did not know that. I'll let my original instructions remain the same though cuz its interesting to see how the Instructables Community can enlighten the instructor. Thanks for all your comments and being respectful.

Use a snowbrush to clear your windshield. If you don't have a snowbrush you can put on gloves and wipe the snow off with your hands. To scrape ice off your windshield you can use a credit card, but it may ruin the credit card. If you run the defroster long enough it may melt the snow and ice. In any case, don't drive without clearing the windshield so you can see the road.

Clear snow off the hood because when you get going it will blow onto the windshield. Clear the headlights and tail lights or they will be useless because the snow will block the light.

I've had people scold me for not clearing snow off the roof, saying it will fly off and hit the car behind me and cause an accident. This is unrealistic because every tractor trailer on the road will have tons more snow on its roof, which could fly off and hit cars behind it. I've never heard of this hazard causing an accident, so the tiny amount of snow that may fly off my roof isn't worth worrying about, (although scolders will always worry). Ruin their day by ignoring them. Edit: Don't listen to me on this, see the videos below of snow and ice flying off car roofs and damaging other cars. (I was wrong... that hardly ever happens.)

Step 2: Step 2: Bang Your Boots!

Here's a tip: Bang your boots together to get the snow off before putting your feet inside the car. This prevents you from getting a lot of snow inside your car.

Step 3: Step 3: Slow Down, Way Down!

You'll need more distance to stop while driving in the snow. It will take you longer to accelerate too, and if you try to hurry by stomping on the gas you will lose traction, causing your tires to slip and your car to fishtail. So easy does it.

Step 4: Step 4: Watch Out for Lunatics!

The Number One Hazard when driving in a snowstorm is inexperienced drivers. They go too fast and think they can control their vehicle. But when they learn they can't, they may slide right into you. If you're going at a sane speed and they pass you at Lunatic speed, you can't do anything about it. But you can ignore them if they tailgate you. You can continue to move slow and steady and possibly have the satisfaction of watching them slide off the road while you roll on. That happened to me once, as I explain in my video on how to drive safely in a snowstorm, (click on the picture above because it'll start when I tell the story), so check it out!

Step 5: Step 5: Practice in a Parking Lot

To become an experienced driver, go to an empty parking lot that's snow covered and do a few donuts. Try stopping and starting and see how your car will handle in the snow. Learning in an empty parking lot is better than learning in traffic. If a cop asks you why you're doing donuts in a parking lot tell him I said it was okay and direct him to my youtube video on the subject. If he gives you a ticket anyway, I apologize. (No, I won't reimburse you.)

Step 6: Step 6: Keep Your Windows Clear the Easy Way

When at a stop light, clear the snow from your windows by lowering them halfway, then raising them. (If you lower them all the way then snow falls off your windows and into your car.)

Run the defroster correctly: Set the temperature to a comfortable level, not as hot as it will go. Then set the fan to medium or high speed to increase the air circulation within the vehicle. That way you don't have to keep adjusting it if you get uncomfortably warm. You need to concentrate on driving, not fussing with the defroster. But have the defroster on, working to reduce the fog on the interior windows.

Step 7: Step 6: Raise Your Wipers When Parked

When you get where you're going, make scraping snow off your windshield easier by raising your wipers as shown in the photos. That way they don't get frozen into the ice and snow on your windshield, which makes it easier to scrape your windshield. It will also keep you from damaging the rubber wiper blades.

There are other little tips and tricks in my video that come from my lifetime of experience driving in snowstorms, so check it out And please be safe out there!