Friday, January 13, 2012
Snow day driving fun!
So it's really winter after all! Yesterday we got our first real taste of winter weather with some snow and below freezing temperatures. Many schools in the area closed for the day as the area braced for anywhere from 1 to 3 inches of snow and sleet. As usual, the local TV stations play up the winter storms as a severe threat to the area, and try to convince those gullible viewers that they might be trapped in their homes for the better part of the week. I'm sure the local grocery stores sell out of milk, eggs, and bread, and perhaps some ice pellets, as the panicky shoppers buy into the story line. But here's what usually happens, only 1-3 inches of actual snow falls on the ground, maybe more snow to come later the weathermen say. Hardly a blizzard! The morning traffic reports tell of accidents on the highways and byways as hapless drivers make their way to work in less than favorable driving conditions. The problem is some people drive too fast for the slick road surfaces, but far too many, drive too slow, which is also troublesome. The key is to maintain a steady pace that is with the flow of the others. Keep extra distance between yourself and the car in front of you, and do not panic if someone hits their brakes. As an owner of a motorcycle, I am aware of the safety courses available for new riders, but I think there should also be driver safety (read defensive driving) courses for automobile operators also. Trial by error has no place on the roads where other people's lives are concerned. There is a continuing debate over banning cell phones in cars, but not knowing how to drive in severe weather conditions is worse in my mind. Well, at least we don't live on the east coast or Alaska where they actually do have severe weather conditions!