Got studs?

We appear to be in for our first real storm of the winter and I have not put on my snow tires yet. Today could be an interesting adventure if I don’t get my act together in the next few hours.

In this area of Virginia, we have steep hills and roads where black ice lingers for months. Subarus skitter freely over the snow covered landscape, while most other vehicles crawl cautiously down treacherously icy roads.

My 15 passenger Dodge van, which is now a cargo vehicle, handles well on dry roads, but provides a terrifying ride when the road is icy. It provides a white-knuckle driving experience that unsettles me and oncoming traffic as well when it loses traction and breaks free.

This year, I am going to stud my snow tires in the hopes that I won’t get stranded like last year. We were staying with Doug and Amy Thompson while our house was being finished and I parked on a flat patch of snow down by the side of their road.

The van sunk into the snow a few inches and the snow froze, leaving each wheel in a 3 inch deep pocket of icy snow. Even though I had snow tires, I could not get enough traction to move the van out of there for several days and finally had to be towed.

I know that studs will reduce my driving speed, but I am willing to put up with the inconvenience and the additional noise to get additional traction when I need it.

I should have my first test of the tires by this weekend. I’ll let you know how they do.

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