Eek, auto trannies are scarry in icy weather. No gentle engine braking, poor gear holding, uneven torque converter stall... unespected kickdowns, blech.
Just be careful with the gas pedal, both pouring it on and letting it off. Don´t do anything fast with your right foot.
Remember, a spinning wheel has less traction and control than one that´s in sync with the pavement/snow/ice.
Have fun in the parking lot.. handbrakes are fun.
OH, and don´t worry about people not knowing how to drive.. Boone is filled with college kids from Florida in gargantuan SUVs all winter long. Scary shit. It´s the cute little chicks with the cellphones in one ear doing 15 over the posted speed limit up the middle of the road slamming on their brakes whenever they notice it´s starting to slide (which is usually a few days after it actually does in one of those things). Seriously, one of the reasons people think SUVs are cut out for snow and ice is because you´re so isolated from any readable roadfeel that most people don´t know they´re sliding.
Big Myth #1: Trucks/SUVs go better in snow/ice on roads than cars.
Cars with their often softer, better damped, independant suspensions and lower levels of torque are actually better off than large solid axle pickups w/ 4x4 on the windows (considering they both have comparable tires).
Big Myth #2: Heavier vehicles are better in ice and snow.
The heavier a car is, the more friction it has with any given surface on the same tires as a smaller car.. YES. BUT the heavier a car the more force is needed for the same rates of acceleration. Since the amount of force needed and the amount of traction gained are in a linear relationship, weight can be taken out of the equation entirely.. hence vehicle weight doesn´t matter (weight distribution does though)
Big Myth #3: Wide all terrain tires are better than little skinny winter car tires.
Except for running on semi-packed or unpacked snow where large wide tires can actually grab a bite of hard snow, this is false. Skinnier tires are actually better suited to icy conditions because they´ll heat up better, give the water on top the ice (what you actually skid on) a place to go when squashed by the weight of a vehicle, and crush a narrower slice of snow down as they pass resulting in less rolling resistance (more rolling resistance happens to cut into your ability to accelerate).
Next time you watch a rally in the snow, check out the 165 width tires the guys run on, sure they´re studded, but even without the studs they´ll work way better on the slick stuff than the normal 215-225 width tarmac tire.