Driving in the Snow

Today is the first serious snow fall for this winter season. Now we aren’t getting anything to the proportions that Boston did a few days ago, but enough that being cautious while driving is actually warranted. What I want to convey here is that there is safe and unsafe ways to drive in the snow.

Normally driving the actual posted speed limit or right below would be the correct thing to do. (Approximately up to less than 5 mph under the posted limit.) I also suggest adding an extra half a car length than the normal distance you keep between you and the person in front of you. Slick road conditions do increase required stopping distances. There is a limit to how reduced your speed can be despite the not so Kosher driving conditions.

There is such a thing as driving too slow. A reasonable amount of speed does need to be maintained in order just to maintain forward momentum of one’s vehicle, but also to allow tires to do what they are supposed to do and push the snow out of the way which a lot of newer tread designs do thus increasing the contact footprint with the ground and increasing traction. Driving significantly slower will cause traffic to back up and a line of slow moving cars does pose a hazard in addition to an inconvenience.

While driving to have my truck inspected this morning I ran into said slow driver this morning. While traveling on the main avenue toward my destination I ended up at the back of the pack of slow moving cars. Everyone’s speed was reduced due to the fact that the plow trucks have not touched the roads in a few hours. Even though we were moving the speed was a snail’s pace for bad weather conditions. I was about 8 vehicles back from what I would find to be the head of the line. One by one motorists would pass the slow moving truck, but it required them to move into the lane of traffic not really traveled so there isn’t the travel track of other vehicles to follow. So people are struggling to pass the offending vehicle and it eventually becomes my turn. I figured there must be something wrong and sure enough there is.

I am fortunate enough to have four wheel drive and had been using it from the word go this morning so passing was no difficulty for me. While passing I took a quick look at the vehicle causing the issue and thought there might be some assistance I could offer, but concern quickly turned to anger. This person was driving a truck of comparable size and scope to that of mine, barley had cleaned the excess snow off of it, and the driver was talking on the cell phone.  For about a heartbeats worth of time I thought about pushing them into the breakdown lane, but decided the hit and run wasn’t worth it. People’s stupidity is mind boggling to me sometimes.

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