As many of you know, I live near the nation’s capital.
Washington is a town that is good at many things. Like grandstanding. Scapegoating. Self-aggrandizement. Blaming others for your own mistakes.
Not to mention incomplete sentences.
But one thing will NOT appear on a list of things Washingtonians do well: winter driving.
I learned to drive on snow and ice, so I’m a bit of winter driving snob. Maybe it’s because of my Midwestern background that I get so pissed off at people who become idiots when there’s a dusting of the white stuff on the roads.
Let me illustrate.
Yesterday morning, I had to drive five miles to a client office. It had been snowing lightly for about half an hour, creating a dusting on the roads and a few slick, icy spots.
I need to get on three roads—only three—to make it to my destination. Yet it took me 50 MINUTES to go five miles because of these lapses in Washington area drivers’ knowledge of winter driving:
Leaving snow on one’s car when driving: This is the norm around here. Most people in the area don’t seem to mind that they’re creating a blinding wall of flying snow for the cars behind them.
Keeping one’s headlights off: If the sky is gray, the ground is turning white, and precipitation is falling, turn on your headlights! This really isn’t a difficult concept … so why were more than half of the cars coming at me driving in the dark?
Understanding the links between speed, traction, and slopes: Going full speed up or down an icy slope is a bad idea. I get that. But folks here go way, way too far the other way. Many of them try to go up a frosted slope at about 2 mph, and then wonder why they stop moving and start to fall backward. Here’s a hint—to go uphill on a slippery hill, use the gas, not the brake.
Somebody save me. I’m surrounded by idiots.