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Driving rules to brave this weekend's 'historic' nor'easter

If you must drive during any blizzard, follow these simple tips so you can make it home.

By Exhaust Notes Feb 7, 2013 11:19AM
It's not even Friday night and the news media -- OK, us included -- are already raving mad about the weekend's coming nor'easter. Those of us who have lived through a few winters can brave any blizzard, even one expected to dump 2 feet or more of snow in New England and at least 6 inches in New York City.

But since meteorologists are calling this storm "historic," it's our duty in Exhaust Notes to dole out some important winter driving tips, even if you think you know the drill. Read on, and if you must drive, take it slow.

More storm coverage on MSN:

Winter driving tips infographic (c) MSN[Photo: AP File/]
Feb 8, 2013 7:04AM
As a truck driver, I am here to tel you the worst thing that you can do is put in neutral, you no longer are in control of your car. as a truck driver it is agnest the law to free wheel. I wounder why if a you say it is the best thing to do why is it agnest the law?
Feb 8, 2013 7:45AM

Hey Lori, You better listen to Marla ! In no case in winter driving should you put it in neutral ! Especially on a hill ! Freewheeling as Marla said is not allowed with semi trailers and for a car it should not be used either unless you are an experienced driver ( many good drivers with a manual transmissions do freewheel but only in optimum road conditions). There are 4 or five speeds on your transmission use the one for the speed you go that will keep your traction in check. If you're on a hill and have an automatic transmission then do the same as a manual drive use 1-2-or 3, whichever will keep you at the speed necessary to keep your car in control. The auto trans.,drive gear will always want to advance your car faster. Learn to use your 1-2-3 at the speed that each one is made for before you attempt to use is them in a slippery or an emergency situation. Keeping control of your car in winter requires a lot of practice and patience. I've had at least 14 cars and 477 months in my driving experience, front wheel drive, rear wheel drive 4 wheel drive, off road experience, race track experience. I haven't had a fender bender (knock on wood) for at least 15 yrs. now. But you should never slide down a slippery winter hill in neutral. It's like going down in a toboggan, your car will go where the hill wants it to go!!



Feb 8, 2013 8:48AM

Good snow driving comes from experience and not tips.The absolute best thing to have in a storm is commonsense,but you either born with that or ,in most cases,not.

Feb 8, 2013 7:20AM
slow down, but not too much, especially on interstate.  One of the most dangerous situations is when one car in the travel lane, which is usually clear of snow, goes too slow, cars back up behind and many cars start passing which leads to many accidents.  And when an accident happens, stay in your car until all traffic comes to a halt or if you need to get out watch for other vehicles because the same conditions that caused initial crash means vehicles approaching accident might also loose control.
Feb 8, 2013 7:22AM
Having lived in the Rocky Mt. most of my life my winter travel kit for the car includes a roll of paper towels, in addition to the toilet paper which does not always cover everything needed,  and a kitchen towel to dry my hands on when needed. 
Feb 8, 2013 10:17AM

The Weather Channel reporters make me want to vommit.  They are so excited about this epic storm they can hardly contain themselves.  They are making out this storm to sound like the entire state of MA is going to be wiped off the face of the earth.  Sorry to hear.  I always wanted to visit Boston...

Feb 8, 2013 9:59AM

Driven through a lot of winter storms and blizzards the past 40 years, and have had to invoke the towing companies only twice. When I was younger, I was invincible, now I just call in and stay home. A tow bill can be expensive compared to what one earns in a day. With many states prohibiting tow trucks from even going out one can miss more than a day or two until your vehicle is recovered.


Number six on the list should be... Don't use your cruise control and #7 don't think that just because the snow is blowing hard and visibility is poor, the snow plow up ahead may have powdery snow covering up its lights and strobes. The plow will look just like more blowing snow.


If you still want to have fun in the snow driving go to a large vacant parking lot and do donuts, skids and speed racing. One can learn a lot about how your vehicle handles.

Feb 7, 2013 10:31PM

Best advice for winter driving I was ever given...


Drive as if you have an egg between your foot and the pedal (gas or brake).

If driving a front wheel drive, put the transmission in neutral when going down a steep hill; it will stop the front wheels from trying to pull you down the hill faster.

If you have forward momentum going up a hill, DON'T STOP unless you're about to run over children or nuns.

Above all, remember that the drivers around you are not looking out for you, they're worried about their own butts.  Drive accordingly.

Feb 8, 2013 8:12AM

Who gave you that horrible advice and where do you live? I live in WI and have been driving in snow since I got my license in '78 . In fact I had my temps during the one of the worst winters for snow and jumped in the car with my parents every time they went anywhere. (That was the most time we spent together when I was a teenager lol)The following year we got a lot of snow and 8" didn't even close schools back then.

If you keep on going up a hill no matter what and flooring then start to slide, you will end up in a ditch. The best advice is to have a kit in your car stay home if you've only driven in snow a couple of times. Also floor makes a great for getting you out of ditches! So what if they cost a a hundred dollars or whatever some of the ridiculous prices I've seen.

I miss the rear wheel drives because for me they handled a slide much easier than front, or maybe it's because I learned how to drive in snow originally with a rear wheel. A big honking '69 green ford station wagon with no power steering or power brakes to be exact.

Anyone living out east just stay home!

Feb 8, 2013 12:21PM

Stay home. Unless it is impossible due to your job. 

Let the Works do their job.


If we stay off the roads the streets can be cleared

much faster and most efficiently.


Very simple. 


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