by Dylan Taft
on Wednesday, January 4th, 2012 at 3:08pm.
With the temperatures dropping and snow flurries falling, it's time to offer up some winter driving tips for the Hudson Valley Region. No such thing as cabin fever around here! The winter season full of fun activities and gorgeous sights in Ulster County, New York. The local housing market remains steady with serious buyers viewing homes for sale in the Hudson Valley in spite of the weather. So whether you're a Buyer, Seller or a Local, with a little preparation and some heads up driving, you'll have no problem reaching your desired destination this winter. Here are some basic tips and advice for those of us who love living in Ulster County, NY during the wintertime!
Strategic Driving Tips for Curvy, Ulster County Country Roads...
If you plan on buying a home in the Hudson Valley and you're viewing properties in the winter months, the driving may require some extra attention if the conditions are snowy. Don't worry, a little extra awareness is all you need for a pleasant winter's drive. Here are some actual driving tips for Ulster County, NY winters.
Keep At Least 1/2 Tank of Gas in Your Car - This prevents your fuel lines from freezing and gives you better gas mileage while your cranking that heat and defrost. Don't Warm Up Your Car in the Garage! - Or any enclosed area due to risk of carbon monoxide exposure. Clean Out Your Tailpipe - Make sure snow isn't clogging your tail pipe so exhaust flows outside and not inside your car's interior. Clean Off ALL of Your Car Windows - Sure you may be tired or in a hurry, but don't cut corners and scrape off little bits here and there. You need full visibility especially when driving in winter conditions. Leave Plenty of Room to Stop and Brake Gently - experts say you should leave up to 3 times the normal amount of space between cars when driving in the winter time. Do your best to brake gently when coming to a stop to prevent skidding and sliding. Get Momentum Up Hills & Steer Where You Want to Go - Try and build up some momentum as you approach a hill. This will help prevent against getting stuck in the middle with your wheels spinning! If you do end up sliding, Steer your wheel in the direction you want to go, even if you're heading in another direction. This will help your car right itself.
Stuck? - No worries, it happens to the best of us! Move the Steering Wheel Back and Forth - Take advantage of your power steering! The moving tires will clear snow away from your wheel wells. Don't Spin Your Wheels - Like most things done out of frustration, it won't get you anywhere. Try and Rock it Out! - By gently tapping the gas over and over (or quickly going from Drive to Reverse in a fluid motion if you're able) you can get your car rocking, giving you some momentum so punch it when the time is right!
Simple Supplies - The Basic Essentials for Winter Cruising in the Catskills!
Ah, the old saying "be prepared". It rings true, especially when driving in winter conditions. By keeping a few items in your car, you're giving your future self a hand should something go wrong. Few phrases are more relieving to say than "Boy, I'm glad I had that (insert helpful object here)" Here are some basics items you should have in your car, they don't take up much room and can make a world of difference!
A Blanket - An extra layer of warmth for you or a passenger, and in a pinch can be used under your tires for traction should your car get stuck in the ice. (in which case kiss the blanket good-bye). Small, Quality Shovel - Just a small size is needed to dig out wheels, but it's a must that the shovel is sturdy and well-made to deal with ice (no gas-station specials, they break when you need them most) Gravel, Kitty Litter, or Salt - For traction, sprinkle under your tires if you're stuck in ice. Gravel tends to be heaviest, and Kitty Litter has a very particular odor. Salt melts the ice, but has been known to irritate the feet of animals and pets, what you use is purely a matter of preference. Spare Set of Winter Clothes - Ever scrape off a car with no gloves on? If you're going out for a nice evening in the Hudson Valley, you may not wear a scarf, hat, and gloves. That's because you never dreamed you'd be digging out your car after a fresh snowfall while you were at dinner. With an extra set of winter gear in the trunk, you'll always be ready. Sunglasses - Some folks don't like wearing sunglasses but they can be a lifesaver in winter months. The snow tends to reflect sunlight with great intensity and sunglasses can cut down that painful glare on a bright morning. At the end of the day, the winter sun sets a little earlier and usually lines right up with our afternoon / evening commute. A late afternoon sun can be just as blinding as the morning, so keep some sunglasses on hand, you'll be glad you did. A Flashlight - For any number of reasons, you should have a reliable flashlight in your car (Smartphone apps don't count!) Better to Have and Not Need - You may never use these items, but I guarantee that if you end up needing them, you'll be very glad you had them around!