As I sit here and write this, it’s snowing outside. Well, ok really at this point, it’s freezing rain coming down which is going to turn to ice in a bit. I currently don’t have the number to call to check into work tomorrow so I’m hoping I acquire that soon or will have to make an executive decision about whether or not I go in. So what’s today’s post going to be about? Driving in wintery weather. Ooooh thrilling, you’re thinking sarcastically. Actually it can be depending on what part of the country you live in.
Now I know all you folks that live in the Northeast or Midwest or Alaska, or any part of the world that gets tons of snow all the time, you’re used to it. You dig out of millions of feet of snow every year, drive through blizzards, and kids have no idea what a snow day is because that’s just every day life. But see here in Virginia, we freak out at rain. So when there’s even just a whisper of cold weather, all hell breaks loose down here. You always know when bad weather is about hit because at the grocery stores all the bottled water, bread, and milk have disappeared. I’ve always wondered this though, if the power goes out won’t your milk go bad? Parents and kids anxiously wait to see if schools will close while almost everyone around here continually checks the OPM website to see whether or not the government will close/delay.
So driving in wintery weather is not fun at all up here. Most people up here don’t do well to be honest. I’m not an expert at all. I grew up in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia which is just as bad. I don’t drive a car with snow tires or 4-wheel drive. I did have a minor accident last year when I was driving out of my neighborhood and hit a patch of ice which caused my car to spin and then slam into the curb, which then ruined a tire frame, under carriage and alignment. Therefore since then I am now a very cautious driver during winter weather. This does not mean I stay shut in during every winter storm. I just drive very cautiously.
As I was driving home today from church, it was a mix of snow/freezing rain/sleet/slush. While most of the roads had been treated, there was still a lot of mess on the roads. Therefore, I drove about 10 miles below the speed limit. And it got me home perfectly safe. I think though, I annoyed a lot of people doing that because even though I stayed on the right lane and even though every single traffic report said to be cautious and drive slower than normal, there were quite a number of people who would get behind me, pass me, and then get right back in front of me. All while going ABOVE the speed limit. Which that’s all fine and dandy if you are confident enough. But you know some of the rest of us aren’t. And as long as you’re ok with that, then I’m ok with that. I just think, since Northern Virginia drivers tend to be very aggressive, that a lot of them DON’T realize this.
I am just glad I wasn’t one of the many cars that had spun out onto the side of the road today. And going below the speed limit, gripping onto the steering wheel for dear life, and avoiding ramps helped to accomplish this. Now as for PLAYING in the snow, that’s a totally different story. One winter storm down, probably a lot more to come.