One would thnk that Minnesotans would be expereinced enough in winter driving to not freak out everytime there’s a snowstorm. Nope. Yesterday morning I was second in line to make the difficult left turn that get’s me onto a main road that takes me to the highway. During the mornng rush there’s lots of traffic coming the opposite way and there is no left turn signal. Usually two cars can sneak through when the light changes. So when the light changes, the car in front of me doesn’t pull out into the intersection but just sits there. I’m beginning to think, “Oh well, there goes my chance to make it through on this light.” But when the light turns orange and the southbound traffic is stopping and the opportunity is there, the driver of the red Grand Am remains in place. I’m thinking that we’ll be able to make our turns at about 10am when traffic clears a little. The person (I’m avoiding any gender labels here) must have felt the daggers I was staring into their neck because they pulled out on the next light and we both made it through. Or they could read lips in the rear view mirror.
People become rediculously timid or insanely agressive for the conditions. One of the fallacies of winter driving is that if I have four wheel drive, I can stop faster. No. Every snow storm the ditches are littered with SUV’s. This fact gives me wicked pleasure. I have some empathy for the poor folks who recently immigrated from a tropical climate. First they are exposed to temperatures that are hostile to human life and then they try to drive and realize all the expectations of how an automobile should behave have been tossed out the window. And of course everyone who has been stuck behind them as they drive down the freeway at 20 gives them a friendly salute when the finally pass. Welcome America!

7 thoughts on “

  1. I, too, find it a wicked pleasure that the SUV’s are in the ditches, but maybe it’s because the drivers think themselves invincible and don’t use common sense. Suprise!

  2. I kinda feel like a schmuck for responding to your question about my sn so long after it had been asked, but I thought, better late than never…  So, no, I’m not a Moorhead Spud, but yes, it is Mexi-spud.  It just seemed that all my screen names had POTATO in them at one point and this time around when I started my xanga page, I just thought I’d simplify and say SPUD instead.  Shorter, easier to say, just better, really.  I’ve lived a lot of places in my short life, but I’m sorry to say I’ve never lived in Minnesota.  Sorry!

  3. I had an interesting experience driving with confidence in the snow.  I think I’ve blogged about it.  I don’t remember . . . this is just the second or third time I’ve repeated this story recently, but anyway . . .

    Driving a fellow soldier home from work late one evening in Germany, my passenger remarks, “Careful in the snow out here, man . . . there’s black ice and stuff.”

    “Dude, I’m from Connecticut.  I know how to drive in the snow.”

    Not more than thirty seconds later, I was heading toward an intersection, going downhill in a 360-degree spin.  I smashed the ass end of the car on a retaining wall.  The next day, I drove the car–a 78 Mercedes–to the junkyard.  Sideways.

  4. i’m not bad in the snow or the wet on their own, but i always forget that our crapcar has rear-wheel drive and is therefore a menace to all living things (yes.  the car is.  not me.) 

    one time i was sitting at a red, waiting to make a left, and as the light turned green, a truck pulled up to his red light on that left-hand street.  i turned, and the car spun, and i ended up sitting right next to the truck, in the wrong lane.  the guy in it must have missed the whole thing, becuase he looked down at me with this look of “where did you come from?”  it was funny, but only because i didn’t wreck the whole side of his truck.

  5. there are a lot of stupid drivers out there and snow makes them really stupid (sometimes i think the collective IQ of suburban assalt vehicle drivers is a -2). the husband always complains how i balk about going anywhere when the weather is bad. he is a very good snow driver (i am only so-so) but his driving doesn’t worry me. it’s the other idiots i’d rather avoid.

  6. car most often in the ditch: Jeep Grand Cherokee. car most often upside down: Big GMC/Chevy SUVs. I always wonder: do they think they somehow stop better in snow?

  7. It was the same way in Chicago… you’d think they all never drove in the crap in their lives.  And someone not taking the “on yellow gimmie” in a left hand turn situation is one of my pet peeves. 

    But remember the sage words of that racecar driving god, Jackie Stewart:  “When there’s ice, giving the wheel a spin is nice”  (just kidding)

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