Jane's Mix Tape 6- Slow Ride
Meeting the Winter Driving Challenge
Slow Ride – Take it Easy – Foghat summed up my approach to winter driving: be careful and take it easy. This year in particular, it seems we are having a particularly brutal winter with temperatures dropping up and down the east coast, and winter storms blowing west to east. Many of us are facing snow, freezing rain, gale force winds, and even tornadoes and these may not be normal conditions where you live. So be prepared.
We’re already into winter but it is never too late to make sure your car is ready for the bad weather that could be with us another month or more. Checking wiper fluids and keep them topped off, ensure your battery is in good shape, check tire treads and pressure, and keep an eye out for unexpected conditions. In addition to getting that winter check-up, one thing I tend to do when I stop for gas is keep my windows clean of salt, dirt, and grime (and when I say windows I mean ALL windows – front, side and back) so that you maximize your ability to see. But most of us do that – do you also check the dirt and grime on your headlamps, brake lights, and back-up lights? A swipe of those will not only help you see the road better but also let others on the road see you better. Take these precautions and when you are driving in bad weather/conditions, make it a Slow Ride.
I know what you’re thinking – I don’t want to be THAT older driver, creeping along and irritating those around me. There are alternatives to that as well. First, do you really have to go somewhere? The answer may be yes. You need to pick up medications or groceries, get to a medical appointment, or you’re experience a power outage that is threatening you. Part of being prepared for the winter might not only be how you check your car, but can include knowing what options are available to help you in your community. Perhaps your medications or groceries can be delivered. Many of us have had to figure that process out dealing with COVID, now put those tools to work when it’s nasty out. Maybe you can call on a neighbor (a taxi, LYFT, or UBER) who has a car built for the weather to take you where you need to go. Learn about the community services available for extended power outages and the supports available to get you to a warming center or other services you might need.
(Though it may not be related to keeping you safe on the roads – don’t forget to keep your phone charged, batteries for flashlights, and have a plan for if the power does go out.)
On the other hand, if you really don’t need to go anywhere, light a fire, pour some hot chocolate or your favorite beverage, and grab a book. Open a new jigsaw puzzle or favorite game to play. Play you own version of Chopped by taking five things you do have in your pantry or fridge and make an interesting meal – you might surprise yourself. Relax and wait it out. The sun always comes out and weather constantly changes. In the meantime, take it easy, and, most importantly, stay safe.