Driving in The Snow

December 19th, 2013

Dear random internet person,

I once had to stop two cars back from a stop sign. There was snow on the road and the road was on a bit of a hill. There was no way to get out and measure the snow composition and compaction, and no way to measure the steepness of the hill. I got there and then had to stop, and had little choice in the matter. Sure, I could have stayed home. It’s hard to predict the future though.

I slid backwards. I shifted the jeep into 2nd gear and floored it (forwards) and it continued to slip backwards IN 4WD! the hill was more like an ice rink than a bit of snow on the road. But it was white, not clear or black like ice. There was no hint of a potential problem a moment earlier at the bottom of the hill. I stuck the jeep in reverse, turned the front wheels, and spun it onto the other side of the road facing the opposite direction. No harm done… to me.

The car behind me, coincidentally with my wife driving, was not so lucky. She had a little bit less room and a much larger turning radius. She could not have managed to move to another spot on the road. She backed up to avoid me and then had no way to stop. She gently nudged the car behind her who also had trouble.

Some ass-hat drove by, leaned out of his window, and yelled "LEARN HOW TO DRIVE."

What the hell is that supposed to mean? There is no way to learn how to deal with that type of situation. There are no books about it. No tables that shows temperatures, slopes of hills, and tire grip. No charts that say, if you drive and have to stop on a hill, you are screwed, stay home because that will happen today.

So when you post about "idiots" getting in accidents in the snow, remember, you will eventually be that idiot if you go out in the snow. Shit happens. The only reason that it hasn’t happened to the people who call others idiots, is because of luck. There is no skill that keeps you on the road when keeping on the road is impossible. Going out may have been a bad choice, sure. But that guy that yelled at us? There’s an idiot. He might as well have yelled "DON’T FEED RAW FISH TO DOGS BECAUSE IT WILL MAKE THEM SICK," although that would have been much more helpful.

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