Take No Prisoners! Driving in Snow for Idiots

January 30, 2014 | By | Comments (7)
Driving in Snow

Photo: daMongMan

In view of the light snow showering down gently upon the Earth like frozen tears of angels, I left work at Southern Living at 11:30 AM for the usual 30-minute drive home. I arrived on my front porch at 5:30 PM. And I have a few choice words for the idiot drivers who made possible this memorable and heart-warming ordeal.

Important Memo to Drivers of Pickups & SUVs
Just because you have 4-wheel drive and 700 ponies under the hood DOES NOT make you immune to the effects of ice. Right now, our neighborhood is blocked by pile-ups at both ends. One pile-up consists of a big SUV, a 4×4 pickup, and a sedan that looks pretty much like a metal burrito. The other involves two pickups and a HUMMER. Nobody is going anywhere! So listen here, Bubba. I don’t care if you’re driving a turbocharged 12-wheel drive armored personnel carrier with 800 horses and a construction crane. You can’t drive it up a hill coated with ice! So give your massive chicklets a rest, park your vehicle, light up a Camel, and wait your turn like sane people do.

Simple Driving Tips for Idiots, Morons, & Various Cretins
It isn’t snow and ice that makes driving in winter storms so difficult and dangerous. It’s driving in storms with people like you. I tried every route I knew to get home last night. Every single one was blocked by stuck and spun-out idiots. This wouldn’t have happened if said morons had used common sense. In order to facilitate their reintegration into sentient society, Grumpy offers them the following tips. Read along if you can.

1. When driving on slick roads, put your vehicle in low gear, drive slowly but steadily, do not make any sharp turns, and think about what your next move is BEFORE you slide. Look ahead for places where you can gain traction. At one problem spot, I put my right tires on the grass. At another, I had my left tires riding the raised yellow reflectors on the center line. Made it past both spots easily.

2. Keep as much distance as you can from the vehicle in front of you. If you tail-gate him, you could plow into him or he could slide back into you. More likely, though, he’ll get stuck and then you’ll get stuck.

3. If you’re approaching an icy hill, wait until the vehicle ahead has topped the hill before you follow — because if he gets stuck, you’re stuck. Then get up as much speed as you safely can, head up the hill, and DO NOT STOP. If you stop, you will get stuck — and dozens of indignant drivers behind you will start searching for a tree where you can be tied up and whipped.

4. If you get stuck, DO NOT FLOOR IT. You will just dig a hole from which your tires will never emerge. Instead, put your vehicle in its lowest gear, put anything you can find to give traction (door mat, old towel, Richard Sherman jersey) under the drive wheels, and press down on the gas pedal as gently as possible. If this doesn’t work at first, look even more pathetic than you already are, and perhaps a couple of big, manly guys will offer to push.

And A Special Thanks Goes To
Grumpy would like to recognize a couple of special numbskulls who made his 6-hour odyssey home so gosh-darn much fun.

1. Dieter von Krappenbrehn, the German guy in his spiffy, rear-drive Mercedes. How do I know he is German? Two ways. First, his license plate reads, “GERMAN.” Second, he believes every road is an autobahn that can only be negotiated at 125 mph. He therefore becomes quite indignant when he pulls up behind me on a road that is blocked by two stuck vehicles at the bottom of the hill. “Was ist dis!” he screams, lays on the horn, and then drives off onto the shoulder to go around — whereupon he promptly gets stuck.

Life is gut.

2. Billy Bob Roadkill, who stops behind me in his huge, manly pickup shortly after Dieter’s debacle. He knows that because I am waiting patiently in my sensible Toyota Camry for the road to clear I am a wuss. He is not a wuss, so he decides to go around too. Only as soon as he turns his front wheels, he totally loses traction and starts sliding right down the road towards me. Fortunately, I see this happen and pull the Camry forward just enough so he doesn’t crush me.

I made a rude gesture. I felt better. Better to be a wuss going home than a stranded cretin who isn’t.

Word.

COMMENTS

  1. Marcie Seleb

    Grumpy, people would be more inclined to listen to your fine driving instruction if you didn’t ‘t talk so ugly to them. Simmer down.

    January 30, 2014 at 10:36 am
  2. Carolyn

    But that’s his thing … just think of it as colorful, true, and unusual to just SAY IT in the South — then it’s funny.

    January 30, 2014 at 12:00 pm
  3. Colin McKnight

    As a northerner, I feel your pain Grumpy. For what it’s worth, the behavior you noted by the drivers of SUVs and 4wd pickups occurs regularly up here, too. We’ve long said that there will be a special place in hell reserved for SUV drivers from Jersey who think they know how to drive in snow, but really don’t. I can’t count the number that have passed me over the years during blizzards, and then I routinely see them in a ditch 5 miles down the highway. And that’s without ice conditions like you’ve experienced.

    A couple other tips to consider- kitty litter is a good thing during wintry weather. New or used it doesn’t matter. If you’re stuck near a convenience store, buy some and put it around your tires. If there’s no store nearby, and If it’s garbage day, poke through the neighbors trashcans to see if anyone has left a bag of used stuff that you can liberate. It will still give you a bit of traction.

    The stories we’ve heard suggest that your municipal officials got ready for this storm by stationing the sanding trucks and plows so they’d be ready to go once the snow stopped. Around here, our city crews start to sand and salt just before the snow starts, pre-treating the pavement. That might have helped with your ice situation.

    Here’s hoping you have a melt soon!

    January 30, 2014 at 4:00 pm
  4. It’s snowing/sleeting! Shut everything down and go home. | I Do Declare

    We don’t know how to drive in it.  We don’t get that much practice.  Seriously, we get a snow or ice storm once in a blue moon.

    January 30, 2014 at 4:27 pm
  5. BethA

    One word, Grumpy: AMEN!!!

    January 30, 2014 at 6:24 pm
  6. lakeaffected

    You nailed it, Grumpy!

    February 5, 2014 at 11:29 am
  7. Betty Simmons

    I live in Columbia, SC. We see this kind of lunacy even when it RAINS around here. People just refuse to believe it takes longer to stop on wet pavement…. multi-vehicle accidents complicated by the “Well,bless their hearts!” crowd who want to see if anyone they know was involved….who then become participants in the domino effect.

    February 5, 2014 at 8:34 pm