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Fall is upon us (at least here in the north-east United States) and that means that for some, within a few months, we’ll be blanketed with that white shit from God we all call snow.

Winter is one of my favorite times of year, because of Christmas, New Years, the opportunity to snowboard, skate, and take freezing walks with someone special (so you both don’t freeze), but there’s a reason I hate winter as well; it’s the snow.

Snow is white, but really it has no color. It’s just tiny water droplets that froze around some molecule of something less pure. It falls in inches. It sticks to everything and weighs a ton. It covers our cars making us start our commutes 20 minutes early to defrost the windshield!

Most importantly, and annoyingly, it blankets our roads, causing our tires to lose traction sooner, and thusly a loss of control. It makes our braking less effective, makes our cars more prone to spinning, and slows them down more than any other force in the world save friction by forcing us to drive slower to maintain control.

But like everything else in life, you can look with a pessimistic eye or an optimistic eye; it can be a hindrance to your driving, or an opportunity to improve it!

Car control, real car contol, fine car control is a skill not many people bother to master anymore. It’s something everyone can at the very least improve. With control comes better efficiency. Both in terms of gas mileage and time taken to travel. Every winter I learn more about car control. Everything has to be perfect in winter, braking; so you don’t plow into anyone, acceleration; so you don’t bog, turning; so you don’t careen off the road. Yet every winter I see more and more accidents from people who were too confident or under attentive.

This winter, I urge each and every driver to try and improve their driving. Even if you only once go to a parking lot after a heavy snowfall and practice sliding, you’ll still have practiced and know more in depth how to counter the slide. I think if everyone in the US took their driving even half as seriously as the Finnish do, that we would have fewer accidents and more people that enjoyed their cars.

I don’t understand why when cars are such a huge part of our lifestyle as Americans, we know so little about them.

Again, I urge everyone reading; improve your driving this winter. It may save your life, it will most likely save you money, and it will probably help you enjoy your car instead of it being a chore. Like anything else though, you have to want to improve yourself for it to be effective. But, please, if not for you then for the safety of others, become a better driver. I promise you will not regret it.