WASHINGTON – If practice makes perfect, then it follows that little practice makes, well, not-so-good.
The collective capability of this area’s drivers to cope with winter weather is much-maligned, to the point of the discussion becoming a favorite parlor game.
The season’s first blast of snow functions about like a pop quiz, exposing skills and preparation — or, perhaps, the lack of them.
“The first one out of the box every season is kind of ‘Katy, bar the door,'” says Lon Anderson, a spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic.
“Good drivers in ice and snow are practiced drivers in ice and snow,” he says.
Anderson says some of the big errors involve preparation.
Without sufficient windshield washer fluid, the treatment from the roads can kick up and cloud visibility.
He says worn tires and windshield wipers can also compromise driving in winter conditions.
The difficulties don’t end when the snow passes. Cold temperatures remain through the week.
“If you don’t have antifreeze in your car, you could do serious damage to your engine block,” Anderson says. “Weak batteries will die for sure after several days of 20-degree temps.”