Thursday, January 12, 2012

Winter's Here

The Winter you ordered has arrived. Please go to the pick up window and get your order. Are you all happy now? It's nasty cold and a smidgen of snow has fallen.

As to the streets and the driving, well none of it is ever good. Any time conditions change rapidly as they did over the past 24 hours, it makes it tough for street departments to take care of the roads. There were very specific spots where the roads got very slippery overnight. As to the driving? It's a problem because we don't get enough winter weather for people to get the experience needed to be good at it. In addition, most of us are like kids over summer vacation: we forget everything we learned during the previous year's classes.

The key to sane winter driving is to pay attention, leave extra time for your trip, anticipate, plan ahead and make all changes slowly. This is a really good time to stop using your phone while you drive. You will need both hands and all your attention.

The word vector is used in physics and it describes something that has both an amount and a direction. When you say that you were driving 65 mph east, you are stating a vector. In winter driving, if you make any changes to the vector value of your moving auto, it is far better to make them slowly not abruptly. So if you must turn, stop, start, slow down or speed up, those are the danger times for your traction to fail you and the laws of physics to take over. The true lesson is that most winter driving is not impossible, but because so many variables have changed, the rules are different. Drive accordingly, and you will arrive alive.


Capt. Schmoe said...

Still waiting on it here. High 70s
50+ mile visibility. It is supposed to cool down this weekend to the 60s though.

Good luck with the ice, if that ever happened here, it would be total chaos.

Thanks for the post.

chuck said...

Good advice. :)

Bob G. said...

I TRIED to put OUR winter (in Fort Wayne) on LAYAWAY...but some good samaritan PAID IT OFF for!
(thanks, I think....)

Very good driving advice, too!

Stay safe (and warm) out there.