How to Drive (in Minnesota winters)

    The year was 2016. A Sunday in January to be more precise. My wife and i had just gotten back from Florida the night before. We woke up that morning and decided to go straight to the gym. I volunteered to drive us in my Toyota Prius.  It was the car’s first winter as I had bought it the previous year. It hadn’t really snowed in December up to that previous night. So I guess I may have been a little overconfident.

    I took the first turn too quickly and ended up hitting a mailbox belonging to one of my neighbors. The mailbox was fine… My car’s front bumper wasn’t.

    I love my Prius. Being that I’m a real estate agent, I drive everyday, so gas mileage along with safety are my top two priorities.  I definitely didn’t buy the car with winter driving in mind, but there are definitely things I have learned over the course of the last year about driving a Toyota Prius in the winter.

    1. Get winter tires – The tires that come with it are rated to give you the best miles per gallon, not give you traction in the winter. Winter tired do make quite a bit of difference for stopping in snow. (I recommend Costco for tires – and about everything else)
    2. Don’t drive it like an SUV – this goes for any car that isn’t an SUV. You aren”t driving it through the wilderness. Keep your distance and drive at a safe speed. Actually, this goes for those that ARE driving SUVs as well, because remember, we’re not all driving SUVs.
    3. Learn from others’ mistakes – Look further ahead in traffic to see swerving and break lights (indications by cars and trucks will alert you to problems and give you a split-second extra time to react safely.)
    4. The road behind the plow is safer than the road ahead of the plow – This may be obvious to some, but the plows plow the snow out of the way meaning it’s always safer to be behind the plow rather than in front of it.

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