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Posted at 3:49 PM ET, 12/16/2010

Ask a Michigander: Snow driving advice

By Conor Williams

While walking back from a downtown meeting this afternoon, I couldn't help but marvel at the general winter-driving ineptitude of Washington drivers. I know it's a truism here inside the Beltway -- D.C. drivers are the nation's worst -- but it still bears repeating.

Let me offer a little advice as a public service. Trust me, I'm a native Michigander with a spotless driving record (tempting fate there, though). I literally have ice in my veins, year-round. Winter is when we "Mitten Staters" are at our best.

Snow driving can be complicated, but there's one fundamental rule (my mother taught it to me): you can change speed OR direction, but never both at the same time.

Want to brake? Go for it. Just don't try to turn while you're braking. Want to turn? Fine. Just don't simultaneously try to accelerate. It's that simple. Follow this rule and go slowly, and you'll be fine. Be safe out there, guys. Now...come July, I'll be looking for some "avoiding death by heatstroke" advice from Washington locals. Be in touch!

By Conor Williams  | December 16, 2010; 3:49 PM ET
Categories:  Williams  | Tags:  Conor Williams  
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Comments

Yes, Mr. Williams, let us celebrate the smart drivers from Michigan! Speed/Direction. It must be the political folks who are confused with speed and really, with Direction...who cause this mess. It is so simple and we make it so difficult...perhaps, our radio and television talking heads help with the fear and madness that goes on with a little bit of snow. "When we know better, we do better." Oprah

Posted by: judithclaire1939 | December 16, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

I grew up in Pittsburgh, where not only snow but hills, Belgian block streets, street car tracks, and pot holes the size of rottweilers abounded. We always drove in the snow, following Mr. Williams' mother's advice. She is one smart cookie. And I, too, have never had an accident in the snow--or for that matter in a forward gear. (Reverse, now, that's something altogether different. I have backed into several things, including a boat--which may just go to prove that you can be a semi-lousy driver and still drive just fine in the snow.) Oh--and leave a little distance between you and the guy ahead of you--it takes longer to stop.

Posted by: skransford | December 17, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

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