We should warn you from the start – attempting to drive on severe winter conditions, such as the ones hitting now New York City and Massachusetts is usually not a great idea.
That is why authorities have placed bans on public roads for cars – other than emergency services – for example. But in other areas, where road transport is still possible, you might want to follow some tips and advices before heading out into the White. If you know you’ll head out into a snowstorm, be sure the car is already prepared in advance. Have the windshield washer tank filled with non-freezing solution, inflate the tires and have in the trunk a shovel, some sand or cat litter to get you moving if you-re stuck on ice and a snow/ice scraper. Before leaving you should put two blankets, some snacks and water – and also head up to the nearest gas station to get filled up.
While driving, turn the headlamps on even if it’s daytime and reduce speed even if you have all-wheel drive – remember that good ol’ Newton’s physics laws are still unbreakable. Also leave more room in front of your car – the breaking distance is humongous when the surface is uneven (snow mixed with ice). Don’t use any reaction-slowing systems such as the cruise control and if you’re going uphill accelerate smoothly to avoid wheel spinning and the car coming to a halt. When it’s time to go down you should reduce speed to the absolute minimum possible and – if you drive stick, use lower gears to support with engine breaking. If you experience a sideways spin, try to remain calm and point the wheel in the direction you want to travel (even if you-re looking at it from the side glass) and still gently accelerate – usually slamming the brakes is actually counter-productive in this instance.