Winter Driving Tips for Floridians

(C) 2020 Dart Humeston

Believe it or not, there are many Floridians in Boise. Some are merely seeking misplaced election ballots or are just plain lost themselves, but a small number purposely travel here. Snow skiing, hunting, hiking, camping and observing the ancient ritual of highway chip sealing are some of the attractions.

Also, there is a small population of Floridians who have actually accidentally relocated to Idaho! Many have never seen snow before and therefore are clueless concerning how to drive on snow and ice. Thus, my 10 Tips for Floridians Driving in Winter.

  1. Stay Warm! Tip number one is critical. Any day of the year in Florida most Floridians are butt naked or close to that. (Google “Florida man naked”).  At most they wear T-shirts, ripped shorts and Flip Flops for shoes. Boise is much different, and staying warm and alive is a major activity here. Locals will tell you that “Layering is important”! Start by putting literally every piece of clothing you own on your body. Wear several pairs of under garments, multiple pairs of slacks and long sleeve shirts. Top that off with every jacket you possess and your shower curtain. If you don’t own scarfs, cut up bath towels and wrap them numerous times round your head and neck. The goal is to wear so much clothing you should get stuck in doorways if you are not careful. Once you manage to get through your doorway and squeeze yourself into your car, it is important that you turn on your heater to the maximum level. If necessary, set fire to your back seat to help warm the car.
  2. Once in your car, avoid touching the gas pedal, the brake or the steering wheel. Try not to even leave your garage.
  3. Remember, Idaho frowns on highway guardrails. If you must go out, avoid anything but a slight tickle to the accelerator.  Anything more and your car will slide sideways, drift across the icy road falling down a slope landing in a frozen river of ice and you will die.
  4. Very carefully steer, I mean barely even touch the steering wheel. If you over steer your car will slide sideways, drift across the icy road falling down a slope landing in a frozen river of ice and you will die.
  5. Don’t touch the brake pedal! Instead try to not drive any faster than 4 MPH and let up on the gas so you slowly drift to a stop at all traffic lights and stop signs. If you use the brakes at all your car will slide sideways, drift across the icy road falling down a slope landing in a frozen river of ice and you will die.
  6. Turning corners. Just don’t. Too dangerous. Try to drive to locations where you do not have to navigate corners.
  7. Should you attempt to turn a corner and you find your car sliding on the ice, don’t do anything! Don’t touch the gas pedal, the brake or the steering wheel. Just tune your radio to a religious station and pray you hit another car or a tree before you slide sideways, drift across the icy road falling down a slope landing in a frozen river of ice where you will die.
  8. Parking. Essentially, turn off your engine and pull the emergency brake when you get generally close to your destination. Say within a couple of miles. Abandon your car and go.
  9. Walking on ice. Before you exit your vehicle decide if whatever you were going out for was actually worth it. You’ll find that in most cases, unless it was liquor or toilet paper, you can skip it. Drive back home now. But if you must exit your car, wear ice shoes with chain and spikes that will dig into the snow and ice. These will enable you to actually exit the car before you fall over and land with a thump on your ass. From there, you should be able to push yourself along on your ass to whatever store you are heading to.
  10. Returning Home. This is important. Decide which is closer, your home or Boise International Airport. You might want to just catch a flight back to Florida. But if home is closer, then get up off your ass when you arrive at your vehicle and stuff yourself inside. Do NOT attempt to turn the car around, just drive backwards to your home.

Or, you could do what I do, and not leave the house until Spring!