Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of driving across country with a few friends. Good times were had despite the eternal struggle of keeping your phone charged and spotify playing. Sidenote – the BBQ in Nashville is delicious – almost as good as Texas!  Unfortunately, mother nature decided to mix things up and dump a ton of snow on us right as we were leaving Nashville.  Suddenly a 3 hour drive from Nashville to Louisville turns into a 10 hour nightmare.  This is in no way an official guide to driving in the snow. These are just a few tips I followed to ensure we got home safely, and not stuck in a ditch in Kentucky.

  • Semis just don’t understand the struggle.  I know it feels like everyone else is driving 100 mph, stay confident and remember that you’re only goal is to stay safe and not end up in some ditch.
  • Before you hit the road, make sure your gas tank is full.  There’s nothing worse than sitting in a traffic jam with your car running on fumes, and no exit in sight.  Also, make sure your tires are in good condition, your car has plenty of wiper fluid and newer wiper blades.
  • Get a feel for the conditions of the road.  Take it easy on the accelerator and brake, make sure you leave enough room between yourself and the car in front of you.  
  • It’s important to be confident while driving, but it’s dangerous to assume you’re the best driver on the road and your car can drive over anything. (I saw the same blue mustang stuck in a ditch three times during my trip)
  • Watch out for the guy next to you. Be aware of what drivers in front of you, behind you and next you are doing so that you can give yourself enough room and time to avoid collisions.
  • Driving on hills are terrifying in the snow.  Don’t power up the hills, applying extra gas on snow covered hills just starts your wheels spinning.  Try to get a little inertia going before  you reach the hill and let it carry you to the top.  Obviously reduce your speed as you proceed down the hill.  Also, don’t stop when you’re heading up the hill since this could result in a rear-end collision
  • Listen to your parents! Make sure you have plenty of blankets and supplies on hand.  Flashlight, flares, kitty litter, cell phone chargers, food and water.
  • Be a Leader, not a follower. Tire tracks mean the snow has been compressed, and that compression makes the snow even slicker. It may be a bit counterintuitive, but you’re much more likely to lose traction and control on tracks than fresh powder.
  • Lay off the accelerator and don’t hit the brakes If you feel like you’re losing control of the car, assess which direction the rear of the car is moving toward. That’s the direction you want to point the wheels. It’s as simple as steering the car toward the direction you want it to go.
  • Just stay home or find an AirBNB or hotel to spend the night if you feel uncomfortable or tired of driving.