|"Car into ditch bad winter weather hwy 404 south near stouffville rd Jan08"|
by Theonlysilentbob - Source
No, I am not one of the Starks, not even a Karstark*, but it is mid-November in the Northern Hemisphere and winter is approaching. Here in Little Rhody it has already snowed twice, the first time it didn't stick, the second time it did. (I have posted about both of those occurrences. No, I don't plan to turn this place into The Weather Channel, or a weather blog.)
So, that being said, here's what sparked this post -
That much snow down here would have us cancelling school and all forms of craziness. People driving at 10 MPH in a 70 because "Safety" and that's with NO ice. When there's Ice, the same dopes drive at 70. I love my state and it's people, but when it comes to winter driving, I think most leave their brains at home. - Juvatand...
I remember back in the late '80's I was visiting relatives in Mesquite, Texas and it had snowed the morning we were to head back to Tulsa. There was about an inch of snow on the ground (just about enough to leave a footprint). People in their cars were so traumatized that they almost couldn't function. It took us 4 1/2 hours just to get to the Oklahoma state line. But you know what? They're just about as bad here in Missouri. Like Chris said, most people are totally clueless when it comes to winter driving!
My wife has always said that in every city where we've lived, there's an insane asylum where they give all the inmates a car and tell them to go out and have fun when it snows!! - Russ KinionWinter driving is a skill, there are a few tips and tricks that can help but without practicing, you will probably never be any good at it. I have lived in a lot of northern areas where snow is fairly common. I have never been impressed with most people's winter driving "skills," not even in my home state of Vermont.
The biggest problem most people have with driving in winter weather? Hurrying.
The things that might work on a dry road will get you into a ditch or worse in the winter nastiness like that shown in the next photo.
|"Toronto lake effect frontal squall". Via Wikipedia - CC|
Low visibility and a slippery roadway are both present in that photo above. Can you see any idiots (other than the guy obviously in the wrong lane)? Check out the guys with their headlights off. Yeah, stealth mode, that'll work. If they can't see you, they can't avoid cutting in front of you or even slamming into you from behind.
Just like the old fairy tale, slow and steady wins the race. If your tires are losing their grip on the roadway, let off on the gas. But most folks will give it more gas, the temptation to do so is huge. Even winter drivers who know better will do that. We've all seen the spinning drive wheels and the car going absolutely no where.
The Missus Herself and I went down to Virginia Beach for Christmas of 2009, there had been a sizeable snow storm along the East Coast, particularly in Delaware. Now I don't know if we have any readers from Delaware, so apologies will be offered up front. Those folks have no clue how to plow the roads nor how to drive on the remaining ice and/or slush once they have semi-cleared the roads.
We decided to pull into a shopping center as there was a Dunkin' Donuts therein. We discovered that this fairly large shopping center had only two roads that had been semi-plowed going in and out. And this (mind you) just a few days before Christmas. Took us 30 minutes to travel about 100 feet. And that was after helping to push at least three vehicles that I remember just to clear the road.
"Please stop pressing on the gas ma'am. All you're doing is spraying crap all over us. Slow and steady, please. In fact, just put it in first gear and just take your foot off the gas."
"What's first gear?"
Yes, (oh my aching back) some people have no business behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, even when the sun is shining and the birds are singing. When it's snowing? Please, park it in the garage and take the bus. Or learn how to drive in the snow!
Slow and steady. No sudden moves. Don't let the snow and ice sense your fear.
A buddy of mine, I'll call him Dave, (because that was his name) and I used to look forward to the first really good snow. We would both hop in our Volkswagen Beetles and motor down to the junior high school parking lot to go what we called "slipping and sliding."
Before the parking lot (which was pretty big) was plowed we had a nice semi-slippery surface to practice our winter driving skills. We both got pretty good at it. Tricks using the emergency brake, controlled skids, even a whirling semi-out of control 360 could be done in that lot with nary a worry. (Though once I almost rolled my bug, I managed to steer out of it by sheer luck. But I learned!)
That's another thing about winter driving, if you don't do it a lot, you won't ever be good at it.
Even tanks have trouble on icy roads, I've seen a Sherman tank slide down an icy road in the Ardennes. (Well, film of it actually, not in person, though I am getting older, I'm not that old!) The French Hotchkiss H35
Yeah, winter driving. I am so looking forward to that.
As long as everybody else stays home.
*From time to time I will quote (misquote) A Song of Fire and Ice (That's Game of Thrones to you plebeians.)
** Yeah, yeah, wrong tank. I should have read the caption. H/T to Prairieadventure.