By. Brett Staupe

Bstaupe@uwsuper.edu

As many of you may have noticed, we are in the throngs of winter.

However, I noticed that many people are not use to handling what it means to be a student at a school in a northern climate that gets on average 10-14 inches of snow this time of year.

Some useful tips towards getting out and on with your day-to-day activities will help you move along this winter.  

  1. Start your car. While it may seem environmentally unconscious and for those of you on a budget, running your vehicle for upwards of 10 minutes seems like a total waste of gasoline, but it is really imperative to helping get your windows defrosted in a hurry.  

    Trying to cut through ice that is welded to the windows, is much easier if the underside of those windows are warmer than the outside air.

  2. Turn on the defrosters. Rear and front defrosters are there for more than just fog/moisture removal.  Often the heat coming directly out of the front defroster for 10 minutes is enough to melt a windshield without the need for hard scraping and heavy wrist action on your part. Same holds true for the rear defroster, which can really work its magic in 10 minutes time, while you sit comfortably in the car.

  3. Invest in a foldable shovel. One thing I’ve noticed not being from this area, is the total lack of plowing that is done in a timely fashion. Having a foldable shovel to remove snow from the areas in front of your tires will get you out of those snow tombs much quicker than spinning your wheels.  

    For those of you who are environmentally conscious, it takes much more fuel to spin at 4,000 RPMs going nowhere then it would have to just move a little snow and be on your way.  

  4. Knock off and remove ice blocks from inside tire wells. This will help your tire turn its full radius, but also save your fenders from the salt/ice accumulation that eats away at your car from prolonged contact with moisture.

  5. Buy a Good Brush, with plastic only ice scrapers. Metal tipped ones can really damage if they come into contact with painted surfaces, and gouge rubber window seals.

    Brush off the roof of your car, and be sure that all windows are brushed off of snow.  Aside from the safety factor, allowing you to clearly see the traffic coming your way, the fastest way to an accident is not being able to see another driver coming.  If you are involved in an accident and you have snow covering your windows, you are more likely to be found “at fault” for an accident.

  6. Kitty Litter, blankets, that foldable shovel above, a few snack bars, a cell phone charger, and an extra snowbrush are all good things to have in your car with you this time of year. Most items can last for a great while. It’s a good idea to have a metal can, such as an old coffee can or ammo can to hold snacks in, tiny critters can find their way into your car and eat your store of supplies.

Adhering to most of these ideas will make your life a lot easier this winter, and get you to class on time, or to KwikTrip before they run out of milk.  Drive safe.