First snowfall of the season

For those of you who live in southern Wisconsin, you know that we’re finally receiving some much needed snow. This gives me an excuse to make my regular annual gripe about drivers who seem to forget how to drive around the white stuff. As I drove along the expressway to work this morning, I was stuck behind a slow driver, despite the fact that there was no precipitation and the expressway was clear. I couldn’t go around because the other two lanes were moving slower (we were traveling at 40 miles per hour; the posted limit is 55). Finally, that driver moved out of the way, and I managed to safely get up to the speed limit. As Dave Barry says, “If you are not passing, GET OUT OF THE LEFT DAMN LANE (emphasis and language original).”

My drive home tonight was seriously slowed by the amount of snow we received during the day. Road crews were unable to keep up with the accumulation, which made driving conditions difficult. Although I managed to get the car up to 40 mph during on the expressway, traffic came to a standstill a couple of times. The city streets were worse, since the snow made for slippery driving. Even then, I was able to accelerate up to a fairly safe speed.

So we’re getting pounded with more snow tonight and tomorrow, and the weather forecasters tell us to expect up to ten inches of snow by the end of the winter storm. It’s not the beating that Indianapolis, Ohio, and Pennsylvania saw (19-34 inches), but it is still a lot of snow for one day. It makes me wonder how people will drive when we receive some real snow.

I’m not suggesting that people can drive at regular speeds in snow, because that’s just dangerous. But if roads are already cleared and well-traveled and there is no precipitation, it does not mean that you need to drive extremely slow. Driving in this weather requires adjusting for conditions (slowing down if the roads are sloppy) and allowing plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you. The important thing is to not be intimidated by the snow, but it is still important to be cautious.