When it Snows…

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I’ve done a lot of driving in all kinds of different conditions, from the sublime to the brutal, in thousands of different types of vehicles -everything from a UAZ Soviet military truck to a Jaguar XJ220 supercar back to a Geo Metro after a week in a Viper ACR. I’ve spent hours on empty stretches of highway near Regina in the biting cold of  Saskatchewan of Canada – and endless hours of frustration in bumper-to-bumper in DC Beltway  gridlock. I’ve been off-road, I’ve been on-track and lots of places in between. It’s a decent CV for offering some advice from experience about driving in winter.

First, follow Clint Eastwood’s advice and know your own limits – 

There are people who should just not be out on the roads when it snows. There’s no shame here – unless you’re too pig-blind proud to be honest with yourself and act accordingly. By staying off the roads when it snows. It’s interesting that while very few people who are 40 pounds heavy and who couldn’t run 20 yards without stroking out will describe themselves as “athletic,” almost everyone thinks they are a “good driver.” Well, then where did all those people who obviously can’t drive come from? If you notice there always seems to be a long line of cars riding your bumper; if you find other cars are constantly trying to get around you; if people are flashing their lights (and shaking their fists) at you; if you’ve had multiple “accidents” over the past several years . . . then maybe it’s time for a re-assessment of your own abilities behind the wheel.

Next, know the limits of your car – 

A very talented driver can compensate to some extent for a marginal winter-weather car. Put that driver in a rear-wheel-drive unit with all-season tires and he will still do better than a Clover in a front-drive car shod with Blizzaks. But not even a great driver is likely to make it through a foot of freshly dumped snow in a new Corvette. And here we come to an important thing to know: Many new cars – including four-door sedans and wagons – are often quite Corvette-like in terms of having minimal ground clearance and sport-minded “summer” tires. Even if the car has AWD, as many new/late-model cars (and crossover SUVs) do, “summer” tires and low clearance will get you stuck faster than quoting the 4th Amendment will get you a wood shampoo at a sobriety checkpoint.

Before the ’90s, for the most part only a few high-performance cars had really high-performance tires, or sat really low to the ground.  Today, it’s the default setting – especially if the car is ordered with the very common “sport” packages  the car companies offer.

You can easily fix the tire issue by replacing high-performance “summer” rubber with all-season or even snow-rated tires (like those Blizzaks) for the season. But you can’t do much about ground clearance, if your vehicle didn’t come with much. No matter how good the tires, no matter how potentially tenacious the AWD (or FWD), if your car rides low, it’s gonna ride up on packed snow – and the traction will be low. General rule: If the road are not freshly plowed or if there’s more than a few inches of snow on the ground – and you don’t have a 4×4 truck or SUV in the garage – then you should probably not go out.

Have enough gas –

You might have the perfect snow-assault vehicle but if it’s only got a quarter tank – because you forgot to tank up the day before – and you encounter a Clover Cluster, you could end up just as stuck and possibly even worse-stuck than the Clovers all around you, because at least they can theoretically get going again once the traction improves. But if you’ve got no gas, you ain’t a goin’ nowhere, big boy.

It is always smart policy to keep the tank topped-off, even in warm weather. A full tank is less prone to the accumulation of condensation (water)  and (if the car is RWD and especially if it is a 2WD RWD truck or SUV) a full tank will put some helpful weight on top of the drive wheels, which will help them bite better.

But the main reason, in winter, for keeping the tank as full as possible is to reduce the odds of running out of gas – and thus, heat as much as transportation. Few things are as miserable – or as potentially dangerous – as being caught far from home, or fuel, on some traffic-jammed highway or back road with a gas tank headed toward empty fast.

Have some Stuff –

A full tank of gas is good. Even better is having some warm, heavy duty gloves, a wool hat (7-11 stick-up man units that cover the whole face except holes for your mouth and eyes are the best), boots and rain-resistant warm jacket of some kind in the trunk for just-in-case.  Also a small entrenching tool (takes up less space than a shovel but serves the same purpose) and – don’t forget this, ever – an extra jug of windshield washer fluid to top yours off when it runs dry. Be certain your blades are in good shape, too. Ideally, before the snow actually hits.

Now, the practical driving trips; what I like to call the Big Three:

* Gradual – and smooth –  inputs. 

Apply the brakes gradually and progressively. Even if the car has ABS. Because while the wheels may not lock, sudden hard braking will cause sudden weight transfer, which is one of the things that results in loss of vehicle control. Don’t jerk the wheel or jab the gas pedal, either – for similar reasons. If you find yourself on ice, try to ride it out without touching either the brakes or moving the steering wheel.

* Anticipate.

Start reducing your speed before it becomes absolutely necessary to reduce your speed. If there’s a  signaled intersection up ahead, drop your speed long before you reach it so you don’t have to choose between trying to punch your way through it if the light goes yellow or trying to stop before it goes red.  Brake before you corner, not in the middle of it. Power on in the corner; not too much – just enough to plant the drive wheels and/or  transfer weight (and traction) to the rear.

* Maintain momentum.

Do not stop on grades. Even – especially –  if the car starts to slide a little, do not brake. Maintain forward progress at almost all costs because if you do stop, you will almost certainly get stuck – and you will be the Clover who just jammed up the road for everyone else coming up behind you. 

That ought to get you started – and Motor Gods willing, get you through.









  1. Too many people call the passing lane the “fast lane” and think that they’ll get to their destination faster if they stay in the left lane. WRONG! This is America, and in America we drive on the right-hand side of the road. Keep right except to pass, people! If you’re in the passing lane and you’re not passing anybody, or if people are passing YOU on the RIGHT, then GET THE HECK OUT OF THE PASSING LANE!!
    And would you PLEASE accelerate to highway speed while you’re in the acceleration lane on the entrance ramps? Use your mirrors, turn your head while you’re on the ramp, find your entry spot, accelerate to match the speed AND GET IN IT! Don’t wait until you get to the end of the ramp, come to a complete stop and wait for a 1/4 mile of empty lane before trying to “merge”.

  2. Clover: You see, yet you do not observe; you hear but do not comprehend. Libertarians are firm believers in private charity, not government mandated “redistibution of the wealth”. I’ll usually stop and help anyone I can. As Edward pointed out, wanting to be left in peace to live my life as I see fit and not have the fruits of my labor stolen from me doesn’t qualify me as a heartless sociopath. Quite the contrary, I’m a firm believer in treating people the way I want to be treated; fairly, honestly and compassionately.

    On the other hand, someone pacing, lane blocking or speeding up in the passing zones just to slow down at the double yellow is being a “clover” (we spell that d-i-c-k where I’m from). If we’re out cruising around in the Jeep with the top off in the summertime and someone behind us wants to get by, I pull off the road and let them go. I’ve done it many times. I simply expect the same courtesy from others. If I see someone in the ditch in the snow, I’ll pull them out if they want me to. It is my own self determined choice, so it in no wise violates my liberty.

    If someone tailgates me when they can see I’m behind slow moving vehicles we can’t pass, I brake check them. I figure if they’re acting like a jerk, that must be the way they want to be treated. You reap what you sow.

    You still haven’t told us what you do for a living. Are you ashamed of your vocation?

    • “I figure if they’re acting like a jerk, that must be the way they want to be treated. You reap what you sow.”

      This is how I get into trouble. For some reason here in the big city it’s considered impolite to treat people the way they treat you. However it is a character flaw I have that I have great difficulty overcoming, I often treat people the way they treat me.

      As to clover’s view of libertarians… Boothe, reading your post has me thinking. It’s not just clover that expresses this nonsense that without the government taking by threat of force there wouldn’t be any charity and libertarians are horrible selfish people. I think it differs from person to person but it probably falls under a few basic classifications. The first is a projection of one’s own thoughts on others. That is they wouldn’t give unless someone forced them to so nobody else would. The second is the standard control freaks’ belief that everyone should do as they do. They want to give to charity so it has to be through the government so everyone does. And lastly this collectivist idea that people have obligations to the collective, to society, and government runs society.

      In discussions I’ve found a general confusion between society & civilization with the state. They can’t grasp that the state isn’t the root of everything. So if we don’t want to do as the state says, we must be against the good things the state does. Just selfish people who’d let our fellow man die. Of course it’s pretty much the opposite. The cloverite masses shrug and do nothing because it’s the government’s job.

      • “It’s not just clover that expresses this nonsense that without the government taking by threat of force there wouldn’t be any charity and libertarians are horrible selfish people.”

        I’d like to add what’s rarely said when this business is brought up.

        People who criticize Libertarians for advocating voluntarism, including voluntary charity, are derided as “selfish” – by people who advocate using the most extreme violence against people in order to force them to interact with one another, or to force them to “help” others.

        Which person would you rather have as your neighbor?

        • Eric when have you volunteered anything? When I hear comments from libertarians that say that if someone does not have hospitalization and can not afford care then they say to have the church give them money or have the doctor or hospital do it for free. Yes libertarians are all for volunteerism as long as someone else does it.

          I also hear them say that if they have someone tailgating them that they get upset and hit the brakes. If they have someone in front of them not doing something they like they also complain. The only way a libertarian is happy is if there is no one that slows them down by a second or does not pass someone fast enough and delays them a couple of seconds. How can you expect someone that has better things to do than be slowed down by a couple of seconds to do any volunteerism.

          • Clover, let’s get something straight first. Whether (and how much) a person “volunteers” is not the issue. If a person chooses not to volunteer – or “help” – it does not give you the moral right to force them to. Do you disagree? Do you really believe that if, say, I become ill that gives me the moral right to come to you with a gun in my hand (or have proxies do it on my behalf) in order to force you to “help” me?

            If you do believe that, then you are a thug. Someone who believes they are entitled to threaten others with aggressive violence in order to force them to hand over their rightful property for the unearned benefit of someone else.

            That is the issue at hand, Cloveroni. The question of using force against others. You take the position that it’s justified to threaten people with violence for a variety of reasons, to coerce them to do as you (or some other Clover) demands they ought to. I and other Libertarians believe that it’s never justified to threaten anyone with violence for any reason other than in response to violence; that is, in self-defense.

            It’s a question of morality. Yours is the morality of the street thug dressed in euphemisms about “society” and “safety” and “helping.” Mine is the morality of live – and let live. Of voluntarism and free exchange. Of human brotherhood based on mutual respect for others’ rights.

            Yours is the morality of the looter, the parasite – the authoritarian.The camp guard. How does it feel?

            Then you go off into your usual distortions and outright lies again. No one here ever advocated tailgating. In fact, everyone here specifically denounces tailgaters. I and others have said we’ll pass a slow-moving driver (who should yield, but often won’t) when we judge it’s safe to do so – even if it violates some dumbed-down law against passing. Why don’t you stick with arguing against what has actually been said here rather than putting up your silly straw man arguments?

            Oh. That’s right. I forgot. You’re a Clover.

          • Eric I am not the thug. You are the one that carries a gun and does aggressive driving maneuvers. Tailgating is far less dangerous than driving fast on snow packed roads or driving drunk. The chances of causing an accident on snow packed roads is about a thousand times more probable unless they live in areas that try to get large settlements and hit the brakes hard when someone gets too close behind them for a short time.

            You deleted my post of the near accident I had a week ago when a guy had to pass on a right hand curve and when he got along side me a car was a couple of hundred feet heading straight at him. I had to hit the brakes to prevent the accident and the guy that passed me ended up a few seconds in front of me when he got into the town 12 miles away. You tell me if those few seconds are worth it?

            • Clover, what is the essential, defining attribute of a thug? He uses violence or the threat of violence to compel others to give him their property or to force them to submit to his demands.

              What do you do?

              You support real estate and income taxes in order to generate “revenue” to provide the “help” you deem appropriate. Which means, you support threatening people with violence in order to compel them to hand over their rightful property for the unearned, un-owed benefit of others.

              Exactly like a street thug who steals your money at gunpoint because he “needs” the money – and you’ve got what he needs.

              You support having men with guns stop people who have done absolutely nothing to warrant it, in order to force them to submit to questioning and inspection. You advocate violence at every turn, even if you don’t want to admit it to yourself. You speak in euphemisms about “voting” and “the law” and “safety” – but it ultimately comes down to violence. Not free interaction; not voluntary cooperation. Not live – and let live. Just … force. Men with truncheons and guns.

              That makes you a thug, even if you don’t personally do the wet work.

              I don’t want anything from you. I don’t want your money; I don’t want to control you. And I will defend your right to live your life as you please, no matter what I may think of how you live it, so long as how you live it causes me (and others) no demonstrable harm. What moral/mental defect is it that causes you to reject this fundamentally peaceful, non-violent and human way of interacting, of organizing a society, in favor of animalistic violence and dominance hierarchies?

              On driving: If you want to drive at a certain speed, that’s fine with me. I won’t tailgate you (much less threaten you with a gun). But I will pass you at the first opportunity and you should try to make it easy for me to pass, when it’s clear I’d like to travel faster than you’re traveling.

              It’s interesting that you equate my carrying a gun for defensive purposes with being a thug. I carry a gun for self-defense; for just in case. For the same reason you probably have a fire extinguisher in your home. I have no desire to ever use my gun. Just as you probably hope you never have to use your fire extinguisher. How does it make me a thug to carry a gun for just-in-case? For self-defense? To protect myself from possibly lethal harm in the event I am attacked by a thug and have no choice – if I want to live – except to try to respond to a mortal threat?

              Please, enlighten me.

              PS: I’ve had a concealed carry permit for years and have never once threatened anyone with my gun. Unlike you Clovers.

              It’s people like you who advocate the use of guns to commit aggression; you advocate threatening people with guns all the time. Your core operating principle is coercion.

              Which makes you a thug – by definition.

              You Clovers turn everything upside down. You imagine yourself to be a humanist because you support “helping” people… with other people’s money, extracted from them at gunpoint! Then you characterize a person who loathes the idea of ever using violence for any reason other than self-defense as a thug merely because he carries a gun!

              It’s bizarre. But very typically Cloverish.

          • Clover, I’m not a doctor so not only do people probably do not want me doing doctoring on them and the government says it’s illegal.. but I am a decent mechanic and I have fixed a fair number of other people’s cars for free. One memorable time I did was when I was biking on maui. I helped a guy replace a broken belt… difficulty level: few tools, none appropriate for the task. With a few pointers from me how to use the tools he had the belt got changed and he got back on the road. That was my vacation time Clover. When was the last time you took time out like that to help someone personally? Oh wait, your kind rarely does, you use the government to take from people like me and administer strings attached impersonal charity.

            As to driving Clover… take a trip to Germany. Watch how they drive. That’s how we want you to drive. It’s about removing conflict and control freakism from the task.

          • Clover, I suggest you read the whole chapter, but Mathew 6:2 reads:

            “Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”

            So, if you’re braggin’ about your philanthropy in front of men, their recognition is your reward. It’s not what you do (or force others to do with their money), it’s what’s in your heart that counts. Ask yourself what is really in your heart when you wish to control those around you. Be the change you wish to see in this world by setting an example, not by trying to enforce your will on the rest of us.

    • Boothe, you say that the slow people in front of you gets you furious. You know the fast people are the ones that make me furious. The ones that drive too fast for conditions and make me wait for hours to get the road cleared up of their car pieces. You may get mad at people slowing you down a few seconds but I get mad at the guy that delays me for hours.

      • More simplistic generalizations. But revealing ones.

        You write that “fast people are the ones that make me furious.” Indeed. People who proceed at a pace faster than you arbitrarily decide to be the “right” or “safe” speed. You want to force everyone else to drive at Clover’s speed, because you hate that others may be capable of handling their vehicle at speeds (and in conditions) that intimidate you.

        Why not just be content to drive at whatever speed you’re comfortable with – and extend the same courtesy to others?

        If someone is driving too fast for their abilities or conditions and causes a wreck, then by all means they should be held responsible. But you have this twisted need to control people who don’t cause wrecks – indeed, who don’t cause any harm at all – just because they drive faster than you like.

        Just speaking for myself: I drive much faster than the speed limit almost every time I drive. Daily, I pass Clovers dawdling along at (and sometimes well below) the (under)posted speed limit. I do so even when there’s a double yellow – which these days means everywhere, because Clovers have all-but-abolished the passing zones that used to exist – because they are not capable of making a safe pass, or feel intimidated by the idea, or by having others pass them.

        And yet, I have not wrecked in decades. Is it just pig-blind luck? Or do you suppose, just maybe, I am a better-than-average driver and thus able to safely handle higher speeds and deal with less-than-ideal conditions better than the average person?

        Have you ever stopped to consider that as in almost any other area of human activity, people differ in their abilities behind the wheel? That some people are barely competent even when they drive slower than the prevailing flow of traffic?

        Of course not. If you did consider such things, you wouldn’t be a Clover!

      • Actually clover, you round brown fuzzy puckered orifice, I defy you to find anywhere that I’ve posted that slow people in front of me make me “furious”. You make things up which puts you in the category of liar. Therefore the veracity of anything you write is in question.

        Aren’t you the same clover the just lectured me about leaving a day early for the airport and staying in a hotel because rubber-neckers at accident scenes previously made me late for my flights? FYI: it was 125 mile trip to the airport. Rubber-necking isn’t about going slow to be safe. It is a morbid fascination with human suffering, blood and guts. If people would mind their own business at an accident scene, pay attention to the road and just drive, you wouldn’t face nearly as much delay.

        And no, all accidents are not caused by excessive speed. Read my recent post about the aging tourist that almost caused a head-on collision in the wrong lanes of a divided highway for me. I’ll bet he hadn’t even reached 20 MPH. I’d also bet he was sober, just inattentive and confused by new surroundings.

        As a general rule clover I don’t get “mad” even at things I find displeasing. If you tailgate me and there are cars ahead or I can’t pull off, I’ll calmly tap my brake lights for you; twice. Three times is a charm; then I brake check you hard. But it’s not “madness” or “fury”, it’s a calculated move with my foot on the gas ready to avoid the rear-end collision. I get a good laugh at the angry asshole behind me and he gets gets to clean his pants. It’s called feedback and only truly dense and sociopathic drivers don’t get it. Again, what’s your profession?

  3. Boothe: “Cloveroni, not everyone has the luxury of just staying home during inclement weather. Some of us have to see to it that the power stays on so that folks like you can wait the weather out with your hot chocolate, watching Dancing With The Stars.”

    And we’re mighty grateful. Really. We are. :o)

    I even wrote a thank-you letter to my power company when snow caused an outage and crews had to brave the bitter cold to restore power, in the middle of the night, no less.

    I cut my teeth, driving-on-snow wise, many years ago when I had to drive from D.C. to my home, some 125 miles away. (Got caught unawares by the storm, my bad.) D.C. itself was so socked in, downtown was like a nuclear winter, not a human being in sight, and for virtually the entire trip there was one wobbly lane open, me chugging along in my VW Beetle with a hole in the floorboard, scared to death.

    I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing such a lame-brained thing except that I had pets, and my imagination was in overdrive: What if they froze! What if they’d eaten all their food and starved to death! What if the toilet water froze and they thirsted to death!

    Of course, they were fine. I staggered in, a half-frozen bolus of nervous exhaustion, and they were in high fettle, bitching as only cats can, where-were-you-what-took-you-so-long-no-don’t-take-your-coat-off-get-that-can-opener-going-you-cruel-crummy-HUMAN-you!

    I hate snow. If you’re not a skiier, snow has no function except to bring misery to peoples’ lives. If ever I am tried for murder, the victim will be someone who, after listening to me rant for five minutes on the @%#^@@#& snow, says, “But it’s sure pretty, isn’t it?”

    • Clapping loudly here!

      I also hate snow. It is pretty for the short while it is falling. After that, it’s a bleak, soggy mess. It also means road salt and gravel – which makes the roads unusable for motorcyclists for months. Unless you have a death wish, of course.

      I used to commute into DC from the Fairfax/Loudoun suburbs so I know bone-deep about Clovers in the snow and what it is like to have to deal with them on top of the snow.

      Clovers in $50,000 SmoooooVeees and 4x4s who inch along fearfully at the first snowflake; who stab their brakes every 15 seconds; who seem constitutionally incapable of grasping the concepts of momentum and smooth and steady. Whose entire existence is one great impediment to the competent and able among us.

    • Thanks Gail, I appreciate your and everyone else’s patronage. Electricity is a luxury; it is not essential to human life (medical appliances aside). Practically everyone in Amerika takes electricity for granted, until it goes out. We tease around my house about my wife being a “power plant widow”. Most people don’t realize how many holidays, birthdays and family events we end up missing so the lights will stay on 24-7.

      Don’t get me wrong, I have a good job and I enjoy much of what I do. But I doubt Clover has a clue what’s it’s like doing an “at power” containment entry on an operating nuclear unit or going 350 ft. up a smoke stack in the bitter cold and wind (to service an unnecessary instrument the Cloverian EPA says we must have).

      But don’t worry, soon the EPA will see to it that some of these older coal fired power plants will go dark (http://www.power-eng.com/articles/2011/12/utility-mact-no-one-size-fits-all-solution.html). This will cost a lot of money and the utilities will pass it on to the ratepayer (us). It’s a good thing Clover has that $126K government job, because folks, our light bills are about to go up. Then my neighbors will bitch at me, because I work for the power company.

      If I’m ever charged with homicide, the vicitim will probably be someone that asked me “Don’t you guys get your electricity for free or at least get a discount?”

      • Not him, Boothe. The sniveling bureaucrat who’s just doing his job.

        Invite him up that smokestack with you for “an inspection”. I’m sure the jury will no-bill you.

  4. Here in North Idaho I love to go 4 wheel skiing and ice skating in my ZX2. A foot of snow? Nope. But 8 inches is cool, you just plow some of it. But our 08 Taurus? No way. Leave it in the garage. Too low to the ground for anything but plowed streets.

    I also use studded snow tires in the winter. They don’t help you much to get going but they are the cat’s meow for stopping and help with steering too.

    Clovers however are always a problem. More often than not, Clover will cause someone else to end up in a ditch trying to avoid them, and they go on their merry way.

  5. Having spent my whole life on the Cali coast, and then the Phoenix region, I know zip about snow driving.

    But I do have a question….why no mention of tire chains? Do they not work well?

    • I live on a mountain and only use them in extreme conditions. With snow chains I am very limited on how fast I can go. I do carry them though, but 99.99% of the time they’ll impede your travels. A decent sized front wheel drive car with some thread on the skins and I’m good to go.

      Plus: Most of the time there isn’t enough snow on the roads to constitute using the chains. I stay put until the roads have been plowed at least once. That is a biggie. Stay the hell away from crappy situations before they start. Got plans? Got a snowstorm? Cancel the plans.. Just not worth dealing with all the “snowy clovers”.

      February 2010




      • Pretty smart Dom. I have a car and a 4WD truck. My truck has not been out of the garage in the winter for many years. Not because we have had no snow but because I feel if it is too bad on the roadway for my car then I do not need to be there in the first place. Why get my truck all rusted out when it would be so expensive to replace. My truck is in very good condition and it is a 1995. I only drive it when I need to haul something big or to tow something more than my car will pull.


        • Cloveroni, not everyone has the luxury of just staying home during inclement weather. Some of us have to see to it that the power stays on so that folks like you can wait the weather out with your hot chocolate, watching Dancing With The Stars. And that means navigating through people that won’t maintain momentum and simply don’t know how to drive in the snow just to get to and from work.

          I’m guessing you must work in the “public sector” (i.e. you’re a tax feeder of some sort). But whatever it is you do must not be too important or you couldn’t just sit at home when it snows. Which in my mind begs the question: If we can do without your services when it snows, do we ever really need them at all?

          So when you’re taking a few “snow days” on the taxpayer’s dime and you’re on that nice warm couch with your lights, TV and heat pump running just remember this; there are a bunch of us freezing our asses off out on a boiler, on a turbine deck or on a line crew, doing everything we can to keep reliable electric power heading your way no matter what the weather’s doing. You’re welcome.

          • Boothe, there is such a thing as a weather radar and forecast. There are ways around it. I have even camped in my car in sub zero weather before. Clover

            If you are so needed at work you can do that.You can even stay at work or a very close hotel. If you are so needed then buy a snow mobile or a very good 4WD to get you there the very few days you need to use it. You have to deal with what you have and plan ahead.

            • “Boothe, there is such a thing as a weather radar and forecast.”

              Yes – and Clovers, too. People who have trouble driving competently in ideal weather who nonetheless venture out in conditions beyond their abilities to deal with, causing endless problems and hassles for the non-Clovers.

              I agree with Boothe (and Brent) who have observed that you are almost certainly a tax-feeder (or former tax-feeder) of some sort. Perhaps a government skool teechur?

              You certainly have the archetypical bureaucratic, controlling mindset.

          • Yeah Cloveroni, I have a weather radio. Usually NOAA is close on their predictions, you know within 12 to 24 hours of what actually happens (typical government performance). I find The Weather Channel to be a lot closer (it’s free market). Back in February of 2000 for example, NOAA predicted flurries where I lived; we got 18″ of snow. I’ve come to work in the morning and had 6″+ covering the roads by the end of my shift. I’ve slept in the shop and my vehicle. Sometimes I’ve had to stay up all night thawing out sensing lines and instruments (just last year in fact I had one 27 hour shift). I’ve only ever worked at rural power plants, so home has always been closer than the nearest hotel. This is why I have a Wrangler with 4″ lift and a set of Pitbull Growlers all the way around. The only impediment to me getting to work in the snow is having your kind in front of me.

            FYI, you little round brown fuzzy you, I know my job is “essential”, because when the snow starts to fall, almost invariably, management sends “non-essential personnel” home. I always get to stay. I’m pretty sure this is why you won’t tell us what you do for a living; you’re “non-essential” aren’t you?

          • Clover, I don’t know if you work for government or live in the south or what. I’ve had *ONE* snow day since 1979. That was last years’ blizzard.

            Doesn’t much matter what the weather here is, if you’re not government and not a city of chicago plow driver you get your ass to work.

            Gail, Eric, Boothe, it’s the other people that make driving in fresh snow miserable. (I agree with what it becomes, just a mess) Snow driving when there is just enough but not too much and the roads are empty can be fun. Just the right amount of induced oversteer and make a right angle turn like a UFO 🙂

          • Brent, I was in Chicago in the late 70s. There was snow on parked cars until April. I have driven through 18 inches of snow before. Even a lot more when I had my truck out and I had to catch a bus and pick up my brother out in the county. Funny I agreed with Dom and no one said a thing when he said stay home. I guess he and I did not qualify it by saying unless you punch a time clock and are needed on the assembly line. I do have a job where I set my own hours. I have done my share of day plus work hours. Not anymore. I am needed but at my present job they do not care when I put my time in as long as I get the job done. It does at times take 7 days a week. They call it flex hours. I do not have to drive 90 mph to get to work because I decided to leave late from home. Actually I never did even when I punched a time card when going to school. That is the last time I have punched a time card.


            The only thing that slows me down in the winter is the guy that has the 4 wheel growlers and is not smart enough to know that they make little difference on icy roads. If you have not seen such a thing then what planet have you been on? I usually find the 4 wheel growlers in the winter by looking for flashing red or yellow lights.

            • This post appears to have been produced by the other half of Team Clover. I’m not the only one who has noticed a change in style (as well as coherence) from time to time. I suppose the government pays a group rate for multiple web clovers using the same ID!

          • Clover, Unlike you, I have a pretty good idea that Dom has his own business. I also know what state he lives in. Dom also did not tell me how to deal with my situation, you did.

            Since you lived in Chicago in the 1970s then you should know that ‘stay home’ isn’t generally an option, so why you suggested it to me is even more of a mystery.

            I don’t know why you are bringing speed into this, but I want to move efficiently. Doesn’t matter if I have 2 hours to get to where I am going or 2 minutes, efficiency is my goal not spending extra time at red signals because someone like you can’t be bothered to accelerate or drive properly to time the greens.

            Eric, yes it’s an entirely different style.

          • BrentP, the reason I bring up speed is because of the thousands of needless accidents that are caused by people driving too fast when conditions are far from perfect. When I see them trying to drive 65 mp on snow packed roads yes I call them idiots. They should be called worse.I have personally seen cars that passed me and later see them in the ditch or accidents when I drive further down the road.


            • Clover, you make sweeping generalizations but each “accident” is a unique event. A given accident may be the result of one or several factors. Excessive speed for conditions (or the driver’s skill level) may be one factor. Your fixation on “speed” as such (never defined – just “speed” – or defined by some arbitrary, Cloverish standard) is just emoting blather.

              Some drivers can handle a given “speed” better than others can handle a lower “speed” – a fact you consistently ignore.

              You see someone driving faster than you like and up rises the Clover’s urge to smite the faster driver for being more competent than they are. Not directly, of course – because Clovers always get others to do their wet work for them.

              PS: There is an objective standard for determining when a driver is driving too fast – for his abilities, the capabilities of the car or the conditions or some combination thereof. Do you know what it is? It’s when he causes an accident.

              If, on the other hand, a driver never wrecks, never causes anyone any harm – then all you have is your feelings; your fear; your discomfort with someone else’s higher-order skills.

              And that is what you want punished.

          • Clover, regardless of what the government schools taught you, all people are not equal drivers and all cars certainly are not equal.

            One of my favorite snow driving stories was when I was out on I294 at night in a snow storm on a sunday night when only a few plows are out. I am making my way with some difficulty in my ’97 mustang when an Audi Quattro sedan passes me. I get into his wipes and we are clipping along at a good pace. (just under the posted speed limit of 55mph as I recall) In his wipes my car’s traction is excellent. So long as I stay a several car lengths back everything is easy and enjoyable for both of us. Went on this way for many miles until a woman in jeep SUV wasn’t satisfied with the lane she was in and cut me off going less than half my speed forcing me to brake and lose the audi.

            While the Jeep SUV was competent in the snow the driver wasn’t. The Audi was competent in the snow and the driver was. My Mustang is not all that great in snow but I know how to drive it. The danger was the slow driver who was not only unaware of her surroundings but incapable of handling her vehicle properly. But she was the “slow” driver so to your system therefore the ‘safest’. Arg.

            And if I hadn’t managed to avoid the Jeep (by about foot or two) I would have been charged with the collision on top of it because of this backwards system. All she had to do was stay in right lane which had no traffic in it, in front of her or behind her. And while not cut with the audi had wipes more than good enough for a friggin’ JEEP.

          • You know Boothe, you think you are so important that you work at a power plant. Yes you may be needed but you are replaceable. Most jobs in the US are important. How about the people responsible for water and sewer in a city. How about the guy that delivers groceries to your local store. How about the guy that delivers the gas that allows you to drive to the power plant. Most of the jobs in the US are important but most of them can be delayed for a day or two. That is why most people have the weekends off or a day or two during the week.


            • Poor ol’ Clover he – or she – always misses the point and then goes on to argue some other point that’s beside the point!(And also embarrassingly illiterate: “…you think you are so important that you work at a power plant.”)

              Boothe mentioned the fact that many companies require your presence, as an employee, on work days, irrespective of snow. Which means, one usually has to drive. Which means, dealing with Clovers who insist on forcing others to operate at their pace.

              But Clover, being a government “worker,” doesn’t have to worry about such things because different rules apply.

          • Thanks for stepping in Eric. I shouldn’t bother, but since clover insists….

            No clover I don’t think I’m very important at all. However management thinks my job function (along with my peers) is “essential” to the operation of the facility. Unlike you clover, I do not suffer from delusions of self importance. Hence I have no desire to control anyone else’s actions other than my own, unless they are a direct threat to me or my family. Working for a utility, just like any other corporate job can be likened unto placing your finger in a body of water: Pull it out and it doesn’t leave a hole. Man has been generating electricity commercially for many decades prior to my entering the field. I expect this to continue long after I’m gone. I’m merely one little worker ant helping to generate a product you and millions of other Americans want and are willing to purchase, nothing more. Should I and enough of my peers decide that we’re going to take a couple of “snow days”, your ass will be sitting in the dark (Unless of course you’ve done like your “paranoid” coworker and bought a generator).

            What you need to understand is I, as well as everyone else in my field, must pass a battery of technical tests merely to get an interview for this job. After that we have to pass physical, psychological and drug tests as well as a criminal background check. Being able to pass through this entry gauntlet gives is what determines our “worth” in the marketplace. Right now we have openings and there’s no one to fill them because one must to be qualified and very few people are. In our current economic state, it’s an excellent niche to be in. Providence has been good to me and for that I am very thankful.

            On the other hand, collecting a paycheck from government coffers conveys no market feedback. All it proves in most cases is that you managed to convince some other tax feeder that you are sufficiently compliant to maintain the status quo and just stupid enough not to threaten his or her position. Longevity of government service merely shows you’ve managed to not to screw up too badly in public. Any milquetoast bureaucrat can manage that simply by doing nothing….for years. You want to impress me? Then successfully compete for a job in an area where people pay for your services by choice on the open market. Jobs funded by Smith threatening to put a gun under Jones’ chin if he doesn’t hand his money over are immoral and would be criminal if you didn’t use your state proxies to do it for you.

            You had to immediately change the subject from driving in the snow to driving on ice, because your original argument was typically banal and asinine. But I can and do drive on ice. I safely made a 50 mile trip two years ago on black ice. I had to attend a “mandatory” environmental compliance meeting thanks to your clover kindred at the EPA. I did not end up in the ditch doing it either, because I grew up dealing with ice storms and icy roads. One just has to be careful and drive according to the conditions.

            FYI: I drive a Jeep Wrangler in the winter with the best snow tires I could find so I don’t end up in the ditch. With that in mind, if and when you run off the road it will be me or some other “redneck” like me in the Jeep or 4X4 truck that stops to help. Then we’ll use our own tow strap (because some of us actually go out prepared to help others) to pull your ill prepared ass out of the ditch. Once again: What do you do for a living?

          • Boothe you are not a true libertarian if you stop and help others. From what I have been reading for months you would say let the idiot stay in the ditch because you have better things to do. You can not be delayed by anyone not even the guy that is driving 5 mph slower than you want to travel.

            I would guess that you have job security because of UNIONS. You would not allow a low income person to thaw out your lines or to sweep the floors or climb the 100 feet stack.

            • Clover, it’s psychopathic personalities such as yourself who believe that “help” flows from the barrel of a gun.

              Libertarians are liberals in the old-school meaning of that term. They loathe aggressive violence and believe in dealing with people on the basis of goodwill and voluntarism. This is the most human form of social interaction there is, an interaction not based on force and arbitrary diktats from on high, but on reason and cooperation.

              Why do you relish violence so? Why the need to control others? What is it about peaceful cooperation that bothers you so much?

          • Eric you say that Boothe said “many companies require your presence, as an employee, on work days, irrespective of snow.” You forget that even Boothe said many are sent home from the Power plant during the very bad day or two that he seldom sees. Eric there are very very few companies that require all of their workers at work during a blizzard unless they were already there. Most of them have places for an employee to sack out when needed. Those companies that require employees to be at work even during a blizzard or a 30 inch snow and 40 mph winds can deal with the deaths that will happen. Even assembly lines shut down during such poor weather unless it is a short time where they can get enough employees to stay on the line.

            I have to laugh at you when you say you need a 4 wheel drive truck so that you can get somewhere during bad weather even though you have no job to travel to.

            There are many more places that close down than stay open during the worst days in the decade in the snow and ice zones. I would like to see you get to somewhere living on a mountain and get an ice storm. You are not going anywhere until a salt or sand truck goes by. The same thing when you get the passes with 20 foot drifts.

            Boothe said he drove 50 miles on black ice. I have driven on ice before many times also. I saw many drivers drive off the road when they tried to go 15 mph. I was on a road once many years ago with a rear wheel drive car and an automatic. I had to put the car in and out of drive because 10 mph was too fast and putting on the brakes at all made the rear end swerve out. Any of these icy conditions can only be handled on flat roads with no hills.

            • Clover, you’re obviously a government worker – or have the mindset of one.

              I worked for many years at a daily newspaper. The paper goes to bed (to press) no matter what happens, short of the end of the world. Snow is not the end of the world. Not even a massive blizzard is the end of the world. We reporters and editors (and graphics people and paginators) were expected to be there, period. How we got there was up to us. This is how it is in the private sector and it’s a concept you apparently cannot comprehend.

              Again: Please tell us what sort of government make-work “job” you hold (or held). From your disabled vocabulary and atrocious grammar I suspect you are/were a DMV clerk or similar useless eater.

          • Clover, your statement is so patently absurd I don’t even know where to begin. To claim that because a person doesn’t believe in forcing his opinion on others and chooses to live his life on his own terms free from aggression, (a libertarian), means that he hates others or wishes them harm is absolutely false. Libertarians are not nihilists or misanthropes. Libertarians just reject criminality, not peacefully cooperating with their fellow man.

            You claim to have been reading the writings of libertarians for months, yet you continue to spout such utter bullshit. Either you can’t read or you are engaging in deliberate obfuscation and trolling. It is clear to all who have read your words that you are not here to engage in constructive and honest dialogue. Your only goal seems to shill for the state or create absurd straw-man arguments so that you don’t have to deal with complete dismantling of your current world view.

          • Edward King, not much to say except read the hundred of posts on this site. If you do that then try to tell me I am wrong about that statement.

          • One question Boothe, you say you drive your big 4 wheel drive in the winter. How many days in the winter do you actually use 4 wheel drive? I would guess at most a half a dozen times unless you live out in the country where you may see a snow plow a week or two after a snow storm. How many days do you end up driving it?

            I hear the excuse from someone driving a 4 wheel drive vehicle because they live where it snows once in a while. They probably never put it into 4 wheel drive because they live in town. Yes a 4 wheel drive is needed by a few people but there are 10 times more people that own them that do not need them. Most of the people that I seen that own them drive like idiots. I did not say all of them but a majority. I used to drive a full sized Van many years ago for my job and I had no problem driving through 18 inches of snow even without 4 wheel drive.

            Yes I bring up ice on roads. Have you ever been on any roads that had snow and ice? There usually is ice along with the snow unless it is very cold. Snow can also be very slick. Yes not as much as pure ice.

            You say that there is a limited number of qualified applicants for your job. If you as a libertarian support drug use then there will be a lot fewer qualified applicants. There are thousands of people from countries like India that would qualify for your job but I am sure they would be disqualified because they are not US citizens. They do have thousands of jobs in the rest of the US though.

            • Sigh.

              You’re correct – but wrong where it matters.

              It’s true – well, arguable – that many people who own 4WD trucks do not “need” them. Then again, most people don’t “need” more than something comparable to a 1980’s-era Chevette to get from A to B, either. Few people “need” V-6 engines; almost none “need” V-8s. Who “needs” an excellent stereo? Climate control AC? Arguably, only the handicapped “need” power windows, for that matter.

              And who will be the arbiter of “need”? You? Others like you who control the teeth and fangs of the government?

              One of the things that used to define America was that each of us was free to define “need” for ourselves – and leave others to define it as they saw fit for themselves. But people such as you are determined to force others to conform to your notion of “need” – and many other things besides.

              You’re a thug, Clover. A person who lives by violence.

              But you’re worse than a common thug because you don’t even have the balls to do your own dirty work. You vote to have others do it for you. You pass laws – and send others to enforce them.

              I pity you, actually.

              It must be awful to look in the mirror and see the image of a camp guard.

          • Yes Eric I do not have the right to decide if someone else drives a 4WD vehicle to work every day but it still does not mean it is a good thing to do it. I guess I just do not believe that we should have millions of people out there wasting gas needlessly because they can afford it to drive the 15 mpg growlers to work. It is just too bad that gas price is priced at the cost it takes to get out of the ground today rather than what it will cost to get that wasted gallon of gas out of the ground 50 years from now since they already have to drill a mile under water to get it today. What will it be like 30 years or 50 years from now. I know, you just live for the day but the extra gallon that the other guy uses today cost me a lot more money in the future to get out of the ground. They say there will always be oil but eventually it will cost a million bucks per barrel to get it out of the ground.

            • Clover, the same criticism you make can be made about you, too – unless you drive a Geo Metro or something equivalent. Do you? If not, then you don’t “need” the vehicle you are driving. You’ve said yourself that you barely drive any faster than the posted speed limit, which means, you never drive much faster than about 75. Which means, you don’t “need” a vehicle with anything more than the power/performance level of a Geo Metro – and even that may be more than you “need.”

              Do you see?

          • No Eric I do not drive a Geo Metro but I do average close to 40 mpg which is about what they averaged. If we were back in the Geo Metro days of lower speed limits I could average better than that.

            If I drove a lower power car for just the speeds that I need to travel, you and Boothe would get your guns out on me because I was not accelerating fast enough in front of you. You would have to pass on double yellow lines and blind corners and get into a rage that would last for weeks.

            By the way, what do you average with your truck? I would guess 15 mpg would be high for the way that you say that you drive. I know. You say you can afford it.

            • First, bullshit.

              Unless you drive a Prius (and never drive it on the highway) you’re not averaging 40 MPG. There are only a few new/recent cars that even get 40 on the highway. Do you drive a diesel Jetta? A new Focus? A SkyActive-G Mazda3? A Fiat 500?

              If not, you’re not.

              You may average around 30. Maybe. If you drive an extremely efficient car. Mid-30s is conceivable on the highway. Maybe. If it’s a four-cylinder car or a diesel.

              But again, it’s nether here nor there. The issue is whether you (or anyone else) has the right to dictate to others what constitutes “need” – and force them to limit their decisions about what (and how) to drive accordingly. You’ve already conceded (for once) that you don’t have the right to decide what constitutes “need” when it comes to what kind of car a person drives. But consider, Clover, that the principle is a general one. That is, you likewise have no right to determine what speed others “need” to drive no faster than – and so on. If you can grasp – and accept – this principle and adjust your views accordingly, you’ll have taken the first big steps toward shedding your Cloverisms!

              Oops. I was optimistic. I just read the rest of your post. You’ve returned to your shrieking, 14-year-old-girl hyperbole:

              “If I drove a lower power car for just the speeds that I need to travel, you and Boothe would get your guns out on me because I was not accelerating fast enough in front of you”

              No, Clover. We’d just pass you at the first opportunity. That’s all. Why does this drive you nuts? It’s an interesting commentary on your psychological make-up… .

              When someone coming up behind me clearly wants to go faster, I let them. I try to make it easy for them to get by me. I move right (sometimes using my left hand to wave them to overtake me). Then I brake to help them pass more quickly. Invariably, this leads to them smiling/waving at me in thanks.

              Have you ever thought of trying that rather than passive-aggressively doing everything in your power to thwart other drivers who are just trying to get by you?

              Of course not. Because you’re Clover. The self-appointed arbiter of “safe” speed. All must drive as Clover drives. No faster – certainly no better.

          • Clover, I only “need” a bicycle. I’m pretty sure you can get by with just a bicycle too. Bicycling is healthy and environmentally friendly as well. But unlike you, I don’t have a desire to hold other people to what I consider minimal needs, so because of that, I won’t scold you for “needing” a motor vehicle.

            Then again if we had the sort of society you want the few of us that had cars would have something like a Trabant.

  6. Great tips!

    I wanted to add to the “anticipate” tip that one should plan your route to/from your destination, assuming you really HAVE to go there in the first place. Pick the roads most likely to have been cleared and salted. Avoid hills, especially ones with stop lights on them, even if it means driving an extra mile or two or you have to go down to the next exit. And, of course, leave a lot earlier than you think you should. This is no time to get in a hurry. You are not Sebastian Loeb in a set up rally car.

    I live in the mid-section of the country by latitude. Just far enough north to regularly freeze and get icy precip. Just far enough south that it melts and refreezes into ice, which is far worse than snow. And just enough folks who have never driven in snow or ice conditions that don’t have a clue. No Clover quite like a snowy Clover.

  7. Love the shot of the hooker pushing the ‘vette (Nevada plates are a clue). Must have been from the AAA Escort Service, and Siri got the wrong listing.

    +1 on the whole article. I live in the mountains of Colorado and get around just fine on FWD and good winter tires in a 2002 Grand Am. I’ll add one: know that lane changes can be extremely tricky if only one lane is plowed, or you’re cruising on pavement and want to pass and there’s slush/ice/etc in between lanes. Know that snow is going to bog down your wheels, but since you have 2 or 3 other wheels still going the same speed, the car tends to want to skid and can be extremely difficult to feel which way and when. I’d say most of the accidents I see are either caused by this or getting too close to the snow on the berm and having the same thing happen. It’s about the hardest thing to get good at because the solution is sometimes to power through, sometimes to ease off, and most of the time to get back in the lane and just get yourself used to 30 in a 55 zone until a better passing spot comes along.

    I used to live in Fraser, CO (Icebox of the nation), and if the only pass in and out of town was closed, usually due to avalanche, the stores didn’t get restocked. Including the gas stations. Nothing adds insult to injury like paying for premium gas because that’s all the station has left, because you forgot to fill up before the storm.

  8. Maintain momentum. THIS!
    I like driving in snow. I HATE driving in snow with other people around. The primary reason is they don’t know how to maintain momentum.

    BTW: sometimes it isn’t the guy who got stuck who drove wrong, it’s a driver who caused him to lose momentum but didn’t get stuck.

    • Say it a million more times! Maintain momentum you damn clovers! Go easy on the wheel, coast as much as possible to slow down. And don’t slam on the fucking brakes, or try to make sharp turns dammit! Get some good speed before you get to the hills.. It’s really not that hard. Go out and practice when you have the chance. First thing I do when it starts to snow, or I first start to drive on snow is this.. I find the skid point on my brakes, the sliding point on the wheel, and sliding point with my speed. I constantly test it when I have the chance. This way I know my vehicle’s limit before I am in a situation.

    • The guy that made him lose momentum? Drivers ability for driving on bad roads? If there is a hill ahead with questionable or poor conditions then you allow the person ahead of you to drive as far in front of you as possible. Even to the point of waiting for him to reach the top if possible before you follow him up. If you are riding the tail of a guy up the hill then there is a good chance that you will hit him if he starts to slide back or does a 360 through no fault of his. To me it is the responsibility of the person behind to make things safe for everyone.


      It is often not someone’s driving ability to drive in poor conditions but their judgement. Yes driving 20 mph under routine snow packed conditions is too slow but I have also been on roads that were icy and 10 mph was almost too fast. In such conditions you do not even think about going up or down a hill. Traveling 65 mph on snow packed roads is also a poor judgement. Traveling fast on bad roads does not show superior driving skills but poor judgement because it is only a matter of time when such a person is going to hit someone else, have a singe car accident or go into the ditch.

      • Poor ol’ Clover – can’t even spell judgment correctly. Let alone has any to offer.

        Today, I encountered one of your tribe. Headed down the mountain (55 MPH posted secondary road with average speed closer to 70) and a Madame d’ Clover pulls out right in front of me, even though she could have waited the 5 seconds it would have taken for me to pass by her, then refuses to accelerate. She gimps forward at 30-something MPH… while drooling into her sail fawn. There are now three other cars behind me, so four of us behind this female Clover. As soon as I get enough line-of-sight, I punch it and go around her – double yellow notwithstanding. The female Clover had a look of crinkled outrage on her face – at me, for daring to pass Regal She. By the Clover’s lights, I should have just resigned myself to patiently dawdling along at her pace – 30 MPH below the (under)posted speed limit. Not me, baby!

        The interesting thing, though, was that the other drivers – conditioned to Submit and Obey – didn’t follow my example. They just sat there, letting Clover lead.

        Hence, America.

        • That reminds me of something. Some years ago, I was headed down Columbia Pike in NoVA when I encountered a left-lane dawdler being paced by some idjit in the right lane. So I cut around the double yellow, hammered it, then coasted up to the next red light. Guess what – some dickhead was yelling about how he has my license plate number. I mean, was I supposed to be intimidated?

          • I got some of that just yesterday!

            We had light rain and (being in the Appalachians) some fog. I was coming home on the parkway (a road I travel daily and so know very well) when I came upon a car that was traveling at about 25 MPH (45 zone) apparently, because the driver was very intimidated by the (light) fog or not familiar with the road. Anyhow. Visibility was diminished, but one could still see decently. I was comfortable going faster than 25 MPH, and didn’t want to be stuck behind this guy for the next (literally) 15 miles at 25 MPH, so when I had the opportunity, I passed him. There are virtually no legal passing zones anymore – they’ve been painted over. So I passed over the double yellow. But I was able to safely and quickly execute the pass and did so. This infuriated the Clover – who flashed his high beams and honked his horn. I’d done nothing to him, mind. Just passed him. Oh. Wait I did do something – something the Clover did not like. I should have been content to follow his Leadership and drive just as he drove – waiting patiently behind him… for 15 miles at 25 MPH.

          • I have this happen often. I drive from the mountains to a few miles outside of DC for work. Anyhow, I have a big ass EPAUTOS.COM magnet on the back of my car. Fuck them, I have an easy calling card! The flashing, honking, and lane blocking, let them keep it. It’s all the power they have. Some are superheros behind the wheel, some are superheros outside the car, and some are both.

          • Eric, I have passed more drivers on two lane roads in the last year or two than probably in all my years driving prior. There are some contributing factors as to why but the reactions vary from none to full out flipping out (speeding up, tailgating, becoming more or less violent). It doesn’t matter if it is a legal passing zone or not. Had one flag down a cop once even… and I passed her on a FOUR lane road legally and within the speed limit. Had my papers run as she puttered by.

            Dom, While bicycling I’ve encountered a number of “superheros” in their cars and some who get out. They always get back in or drive away. Got one guy convicted of reckless driving though.

            • It does seem like it’s getting worse… or are we just noticing it more?

              I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s as if they’re lightly drugged or something… zero initiative; spaced out.. vacuous.

          • I may have to agree with the drugged out assessment… something is very different.

            Tonight I encountered one on a road I drive about once a week both ways that I’ve been driving on since I started driving. It was last redone in the late 80s so it still has passing zones. I stay back and wait for the passing zone and then the guy accelerates to block me and then tries to give me a scare at the next intersection (I was turning left) by charging his full size GMC van at my little mazda and veering off at the last moment (for a van to do without too much unsettling).

            I never passed anyone on this road in the 80s and 90s when I drove it frequently. Now at much lower frequency I pass someone once a month or so. one out of ever 3-4 round trips. And I just drive 1.25 miles of it now too.

          • I repeat to myself, usually out loud, are these people sleeping behind the wheel? I don’t think it’s drugs and I don’t think they are sleeping. I think they are shells of people that used to be free, have common sense, and good will toward others. Inside they are now filled with a desire to conform, obey, and tattle/block when given the chance.

      • Clover, I have driven RWD pony cars through chicago winters for a good number of years. I know how to drive in snow. However most people I encounter in the suburban driving I do don’t. Drivers in Chicago proper seem better and the streets are plowed better too.

        There is no coming to a stop and waiting for driver ahead to crest the hill. First thing you learn about driving a car that doesn’t coddle you is not to stop on or at the base of a hill in the snow. Maintain momentum or get stuck. I leave them as much space as possible but they always seem to come to a stop and not move until I am forced to stop or hit them. I’ll be in first or 2nd gear with my foot off the gas and still catch up to them.

        These idiots eventually induce stop and go traffic jams in the snow… which is even worse!

        Eric, I’ve had them flip out on me…. accelerate, try to block my pass, then tailgate. Yesterday I am at a red signal behind an SUV/pickup thing to turn right and enter the ramp on to the expressway. Light turns green. Doesn’t move. I beep the horn. Doesn’t move. I give longer burst of horn, starts to crawl… There’s some space for me to get around and the ramp is two lanes 1/3rd the way down. So I move out to the left to pass. Yep… arsehole finds the accelerator awaking the V8 under the hood. Sadly I was driving my little mazda so he wins the race… but he’s not done. Up ahead are those slow pokes already on the ramp… he then cuts through the hashed out area to enter the expressway early and pass them.

        Speed never seems to be a problem when it used to maintain their spot in the lead.


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