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Passing the car that had smashed into the taxi this morning reminded me of why I don't like driving in this type of weather. So many people think they are good snow drivers. I've only ever met one person who really is a good snow driver: Dan. Of course, he grew up in Maine, where he got a lot of practice, and drives a car which handles exceptionally in bad driving conditions.

The key, I think, to driving on snow is to be smooth. No sudden turns, no sudden braking, no sudden acceleration -- all these are recipes for loss of control. Naturally, one has to drive a bit slower, because faster speeds increase the probability that you will need to make a sudden maneuver. That doesn't mean you have to drive slowly; just be cautious, give other cars a wide berth, and try to maintain a constant speed that is safe for the conditions.

Driving in this weather makes me nervous. One, I know that the percentage of idiotic driving behavior increases sharply. Two, I drive a pickup truck. There seems to be a misconception that trucks handle well in this sort of weather. There couldn't be more fetid bullshit out there! Pick-up trucks have no weight in the back ... unless you've piled sandbags or other very heavy items onto the truck bed. Therefore, they are more prone to spinning out. To compound things, my truck is rear-wheel drive. That means that if I don't get a good grip on the road with my rear tires (for example, on ice or snow, especially going uphill), my rear will drive right by my front, spinning out, rather than push the front. I can drive slightly aggressively in good driving conditions because I am intimately aware of how my truck will respond. However, bad weather takes all that out of the equation, as the truck's response on a slippery surface can be so unpredictable.

<sigh> I can't wait for this snow to end!


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 6th, 2005 11:57 am (UTC)
well, it doesn't usually snow in London so if you move there.....
Jan. 6th, 2005 12:09 pm (UTC)
Plus, no way am I having my truck shipped overseas, so....
Jan. 6th, 2005 06:46 pm (UTC)
I remember how avidly you anticipated seeing snow for the first time on our first winter trip from Panama, too.
Jan. 6th, 2005 07:08 pm (UTC)
I like snow just fine. I just don't like driving in it or shoveling it. Frankly, the snow never stays long, as it always seems to get warm after a snowfall out here. This morning's snowfall, at least 4 inches worth, is already almost gone!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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