Guide to driving on snow and ice

David Fong

David Fong

As near as I can tell, there are three theories when it comes to driving when winter weather hits Ohio: 1) Drive really, really fast and put everyone around you in danger; 2) Drive really, really slowly and put everyone else around you in danger; and 3) Drive to Florida and live there for the rest of your life.

Truthfully, I wish more people would choose the third option.

It has been an interesting winter here in Ohio this year (just typing that pretty much ensures we’ll have blizzards well into May … you’re welcome), but there has been enough snow and ice to prove folks around here have no idea how to drive when winter weather hits — even the people who have lived here their entire lives.

It’s as if there’s a direct relationship between the mercury in the thermometer and barometer dropping along with the IQs of everyone out on the roads. Normally intelligent, thoughtful people make some really bad driving decisions once the first flurries start falling from the sky.

The first theory of driving in snow and ice around here is the, “Well, the faster I drive my vehicle, the faster I’ll get to my final destination and can get out of this whole mess” theory. The folks who embrace this theory tend to have oversized sports utility vehicles and very little regard for everyone else on the road.

These are people who really don’t have much reason to go out into the bad weather, but do anyway — probably because they feel like they can, since, you know, they have four-wheel drive on their vehicles. For those of you who don’t know, four-wheel drive is a magical invention on vehicles that prevents any and all vehicular accidents.

No matter how poor a driver is — and no matter how lacking in skill he or she may be — the four-wheel drive cures all. It ensures these folks can drive 80 miles per hour through the snow and ice so they can be the first in line at the grocery store to buy eggs, milk and bread.

On a side note, why do people always purchase eggs, milk and bread every time it snows? I have a theory that everyone makes French toast during snowstorms. I can’t think of much else that calls specifically for all three of these ingredients. And why do people need five gallons of milk, eight loaves of bread and a gross of eggs every time it snows? Do they really think that two inches of snow on the road is going to keep them away from the grocery store for the next three months? Did I miss the time warp that took us all back to “Little House on the Prairie” days?

(If we did, in fact, hit that time warp, I had better get looking for Nellie Oleson, one of my many childhood crushes. But I digress).

Of course, on the flip side of the coin are people who are so afraid of driving in the snow that they feel the need to never accelerate past 5 miles per hour once the weather starts getting bad. These people are, of course, every bit as dangerous to other drivers who are out on the road.

I have a suggestion to those folks who think it is so dangerous outside they feel the need to drive that slowly: stay at home. If you think the roads are that dangerous, stay off of them.

In fact, maybe it’s time we all work together in a collaborative effort to keep everyone a little safer. We could have the folks who drive really fast to the store to buy French toast fixins bring groceries to the people who think the roads are so dangerous that they drive at a speed that is actually slower than most people walk.

It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Or, at the very least, maybe everyone else could just go ahead and move to Florida and leave me alone on the road to get my business accomplished.

David Fong writes for the Troy Daily News, a division of AIM Media Midwest.

David Fong Fong