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It has been an amazing week for snow.
Here now are some tips to avoid the perils and enjoy the playful potential of snow.
A good pair of slip-grip boots is your best bet for cutting through the slick slush. A fuzzy lining or double pair of socks will help keep your toes toasty warm.
Take smaller steps and be more aware of traffic. The stopping distance for all vehicles greatly increase in these conditions, more so for larger trucks, so think twice before you dash across the street.
A good pair of tyres will keep your rubber on the road. Cover up all of your extremities so the biting wind will not bite your skin.
Be careful when going around corners and make sure you are illuminated as snow on windshields and darker conditions are added obstacles for drivers.
The car advice website Edmunds.com advises drivers to make the following adjustments when driving on snow and ice:
Slow down: Speed limit signs are intended for normal conditions. In snow and ice, reduce your speed considerably because your stopping distance is greatly increased, particularly if you are driving a large vehicle (or you are driving a small vehicle which would get caught under the chassis or wheels of the large vehicles around you).
If you slide, let it ride: Do NOT slam on your brakes if your car starts to slide. Edmunds says when the wheels are braking, their surface becomes static and they can behave like four hockey pucks on their side and can move multidirectionally. Always brake gently and gradually to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up ease off the brake. However if you were going too fast and started to slide in a certain direction, prepare for impact for there is little you can do.
Corner carefully: Taking a corner too quickly is a common way to skid. Apply the brakes as you approach a turn, but release them before you actually take the turn. As Glenn Frey used to say 'Take it easy.'
Look ahead: Double your stopping distance. An easy calculation for this distance is five car lengths for every 20kph you are travelling.
Steering Safely: Rough, imprecise movements of your steering wheel will cause your vehicle to become imbalanced, according to Edmunds. Once that happens, you'll probably skid.
Know your car: Find out if your car is front, rear or all wheel drive and how that affects its performance on snow and ice.
Skid control: Believe it or not, the best thing to do when your car is starting to skid, go against your natural tendencies. Turn INTO the skid and accelerate. However, how much you accelerate depends on the kind of car you have, so ring a local dealership for more information.
Do not eat yellow snow.
Snowballs can be fun if done correctly and safely. To form a snowball, fill your hands up with snow, pack it into a ball and roll it around in your hands. Wet snow is the best for packing. Do NOT put foreign objects like rocks or glass as this is anti-social and might garner the attention of your local gardaí.
Find a good hill or slope near you and slide down. Feet first is the safest. Head first should only be done by experienced sledders. Avoid areas with a lot of trees or obstacles as it is near impossible to steer a sled unless you have the kind on the right. If you do not have access to a proper sled, certain rubbish bin tops turned upside down and long, thick cardboard will do. Try and fashion some sort of handle so you do not slide off the sled while going down the hill.
The most heavenly of all snow activities, snow angels are easy to make. They are best done with proper winter clothing as you will be rubbing against a large amount of snow.
1) Find a big, untouched patch of snow
2) Flop down backwards onto it with arms and legs outstretched
3) Move your arms up and down and legs sideways 5-10 times
4) Carefully get out of the angel so that you do not create too many footprints
For more on this process, check out this YouTube video
Snowmen are the most common snow sculpture to make.
You will need a large tract of snow to produce one as well as a few household products.
1) Form a snowball and start rolling it around in the snow. Make it as big as you can and place it in the spot where you want to build your snowman
2) Roll two more balls of smaller size and stack them on top of your original snowball
3) Add hats, scarfs, ear muffs, carrots for the nose, coal or other appropriate items for the eyes
For other ideas for snow sculptures, check out the International Snow Sculpture Championships website.