Why are we so crap at snow?

KaJuN

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Last week here in northern Texas we got hit with a bit of an ice storm and everything was covered with a thin layer of the stuff. There are people here from all over the country and it was pretty apparent who was and was not used to that type of weather. Some of the slips and falls were very amusing.
 

Brother Michael

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Snow chains belong on tractors and land moving equipment, seriously. Studded winter tyres is the only smart choice for winter driving. No point in having studded tires unless you live in the woods you say ? Ever heard of black ice ?? Motorway ramp, a banked downhill one, 5 am, dark as hell, it's -20C......best of luck with that you and your unstudded winter tires. Of course it's no problem, but it is a bit too exciting for my first thing to do when I leave to work. I have one of these on my way to work, it's practically the first thing I encounter after leaving my driveway.

Black ice is the reason why I will never buy a set of unstudded for my car, especially since the weather these days isn't very stable....one day it's raining and it's +5C, the very next morning it is -10C = ice all over the place, including motorways.

Of course after all this malarky with tires the only thing that really does matter is the component between the seat and the steering wheel. It is remarkable actually how badly people, even here what is supposed to be Scandinavia, handle winter driving. I myself actually enjoy when it is snow and ice (IF the weather is clear and visibility is good). And I am REALLY amazed at how badly people outside Scandinavia handle winter driving......you get an inch of snow during the night = state of national emergency. Everything grounds to a halt, noone knows what to do, panic starts to spread......

You need to do two things:

1) Acknowledge that it might actually be slippery: you MUST realise the roads don't have as much grip as they do when it's summer and the sun is shining. That way you immediately start to think about driving in another way

2) Drive as if the road surface is a sheet of ice and doesn't have grip at all. This is important especially when you are not the most confident nor skilled driver to come out of the driving school. You may be slow and irritate the merchant banker in his blacked out Mercedes S-class, but at least you'll get there eventually. Instead of sitting upside down in a ditch calling your bank why you can't make it to work this morning.

3) This is a secret option: IF you know how to handle a car and are capable of driving when it's snowy and cold:

Go nuts !! (NOT among other drivers!)

Oh....I almost forgot the best part. I absolutely love these guys with their SUVs (even if they are proper, 4WD off-road capable things, like Range Rover or Merc G-class). These guys are the first ones to ramble on about "Oh but I don't need studded tires, I have ma great kickass SUV (and then they tell me they actually drive a BMW X3)!! I am unstoppable, I can do whatever I want and snow doesnt make anything different for me!!"

Well listen here dipshit...I don't care how much your 2 tonne monster truck can plow through snow, it still takes a friggin footballfield to stop when it's icey !! I so enjoy their reactions..."Oooh....but.....whatabout....but it's 4WD and.....well......" and then their heads explode from the sheer amount of confusion going through their tiny little brain. Not the first time I've seen a big SUV in a ditch....just three weeks ago there was a 1990's Mitsubishi Pajero, a very good off-roader, on it's roof. It had gone out on a motorway, 100km/h speedlimit (60mph), very long and swooping bend in the road, not at all tight and completely level. The dude had summer tires on his truck..... Darwin awards anyone ?

I seriously don't see what all the fuzz is about when it is snowing....here you get every truck spreading that god damn salt everywhere the moment they get a hint it might be snowing. Salt.....man I hate that stuff.

Snow chains......for fucks sake....
 
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Hiro11

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As a resident Chicagoan, I spent part of this morning laughing at the British press' hair-on-fire freakout over what appears to be about 4-12 inches of snow. The pictures of what would register in Chicago as a standard winter storm with captions noting a "catastrophe" are simply hilarious. Hopefully the British people are slightly more grounded. I commute 38 miles (each way) in storms that big at least 10 times a year... in a 2003 Mazda 6 with worn all-season tires.

Also, chains are worthless. The Finns are right, studded tires or regular ol' winter tires are the way to go. We have a set of Blizzaks for my wife's car (09 Honda Pilot) and that thing is essentially unstoppable in anything less than 2 feet of snow.
 
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alihaig

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I know we don't get snow that often, but we do have it enough to have gritters for the main roads - and even then (unless it was an awful lot worse down south than up here) its not rocket science to know that you need to adjust your driving style. In built up areas with 2 inches of snow you don't need snow chains or fancy tyres, you just need to drive a bit slower and in an appropriate gear so you don't just spin the wheels. The motorways should be cleared, so really its only country lanes that are a problem and even then you can cope if you think about it.

I hear today that they shut down the whole London bus network and almost all tube lines had problems - the tube has a roof ffs!

Back in November they closed about 20 schools round here (mostly in Rochdale and Oldham I think) because there was a 60% forecast of snow - then they got up the next morning to find a beautiful, snow free day!
 

teeb

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The only reason this is big news is because it's snowed in London.

It snows in other parts of the UK occasionally but you never notice. Flakes in Trafalgar Square? Front page news!
 

Nabster

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We have more snow than that sitting on the ground and roads from a quick overnight storm last week.

Welcome to Britain, we're defeated by apostrophes and 3 inches of snow!

How smug.
 

Blind_Io

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I've lived in the Utah and Colorado mountains most of my life, neither me, nor anyone I know has ever put chains on a car. The mailman uses them, probably because of some stupid rule, but more likely because he likes driving his little van through all the snow banks on the side of the road (that's also why I had to pull him out of the gutter with the Land Cruiser one year).

Our house in Utah is on a hill that is between 12% and 14% grade (they start putting up warning signs at 5%). In the most recent storm, the only vehicle that had problems getting up our street was the snowplow. I've driven everything from a Land Cruiser and a Jeep to a FWD Camry with all-season tires, a RWD 1976 Volvo and even a 1983 Mercedes 300D Turbo (possibly the worst snow car ever) up that hill with no problems at all.

Chains are for people who don't know how to drive.

EDIT:
For Fuck's Sake, people! This is why you are so bad at snow: Nanny State bans kids from experiencing it.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/w...vered-parks-by-health-and-safety-brigade.html
Camden Council in North London decided to lock all of its gated parks because the snow has made paths slippery.
It meant that children enjoying a day off because of school closures could not take advantage of the deepest snow for 20 years in at least four popular parks.
A spokesman for the council said that grit put down on the pathways on Sunday had not been enough to cope with the heavy snowfall overnight, so the parks had been closed on safety grounds.
She said: "Gritting crews have been working throughout the night to keep main roads and priority routes open. We are unable to gain access to many side roads across the borough due to heavy snow and the risk of causing damage to parked cars.
"Gritting crews will continue gritting main routes and carrying out snow clearance work to ensure that schools, ambulance stations, hospitals and high footfall pedestrian areas are kept clear.
"All available resources have been re-tasked with gritting and snow clearance work and we are currently dealing with calls for assistance on a priority basis."
Camden Council said the parks would remain shut until at least Tuesday because wardens were unable to get to work.
A spokeswoman said: ?We would love to have the parks open and we are doing everything we can to make sure the bigger and more popular ones are open tomorrow, but we did not have the staff to open them this morning.
?Our priority is caring for vulnerable residents and making the roads safe. We simply could not take someone off those duties to open the parks.?
Fucking hell, put on your boots and go for a walk! This used to be a family tradition during heavy snow. We would get dressed in our boots and warm clothes, put jackets on the dogs and go for a tromp in the knee-deep white for an hour while watching cars slide into snowbanks. Impromptu snowball fights and the eerie quiet of the city when no one is out and the snow dampens the sound. Good memories. Way to go, killjoys. (It's even better at night when everyone is asleep.)
 
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Dogbert

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EDIT:
For Fuck's Sake, people! This is why you are so bad at snow: Nanny State bans kids from experiencing it.
Jesus. You know, I'd like to live in Britain at some point in my life; will I need to bring a helmet and pads, or will they be provided for me at customs?

NEWS FLASH: When water is cold, it freezes! More at 11.
 

Blind_Io

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How long before all of the UK is covered in 10 inches of foam-rubber?
 

alihaig

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I'd like to point out that we don't want this shit - most people in Britain are sensible, well adjusted people.

Unfortunately all the councils, the Government and the BBC are run by idiot, do-gooder, Health and Safety obsessed fun-police determined to destroy every thread of common sense left so that even the lucky few that escape the education system with a basic level of literacy are too damn scared to leave their front door to go and vote them out.

I seriously worry about what this country will be like after another year or more of this shit (election not due till May 2010). I don't even know where you can possibly start to rebuild, just so much is broken or breaking. It's like we are sliding back into the dark ages, and yet we could, and have achieved so much in the past. Where the hell did it all go wrong?? :cry:

...That's it, I'm off to drown my sorrows (if the pub hasn't been shut down by the ridiculous taxes :()
 

otispunkmeyer

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because the uk is a nation of pansies..... mostly.

i just tell people to man the fuck up whenever they quibble about going anywhere in the snow. most of the time its barely any different to rain.

its just an excuse for people to skip work or have a day off.

we were out today doing drifts and J-turns in a disused car park...and then had a huge snow ball fight. awesome.
 
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