There are many kinds of problem drivers on our highways every day. The two worst come out in the snow and ice; those with 4 wheel drive, and the people who follow them.

I’ve lost count of how many SUVs and pickups I’ve seen in ditches and medians over the years when there’s a slight coating of black ice, or even when there’s actual snow on the road. I saw it yesterday on my way home at the beginning of the blizzard. 4WD does give you extra traction in bad weather, making it harder for you to get stuck in snow drifts, and even to move off ice covered surfaces when driving slowly. It does not magically make your vehicle imperivous to weather.

I have a Honda Civic, and that means 2 wheel drive, and that means wicked slow in the snow. I’m moving along at a steady 25 mph on Route 6, and a large red suv bears down on me. But; he can’t pass me, because barreling down the other lane is a pickup, easily doing 50. Did I mention that a blizzard had started? Visibility was minimal, and plows had not yet been out.

After the pickup zipped merrily by, the suv whipped into the other lane to pass me…and into the barrier.

The other problem driver is the one who drives a regular car, say, a Corolla. This car obviously has 2 wheel drive, and you’d think that the driver would realize that they have even less traction than the truck that flew by them. But they reason that since the truck is doing 60 in the snow, then it can’t be THAT bad! So they speed up too.

I must say that there is nothing more exhilarating than watching the car in front of you spin out of control in large circles. All you can do is yell “Turn into the spin! Turn into the spin!” and hope for the best.

(The car came to rest safely in the breakdown lane.)

Another point of driving in snow; I don’t mind following the plows. People bitch about road conditions, and “Where are the frikin plows?” As soon as they see one; they do everything they can to pass them. In the height of the storm you’ll see three plows side-by-side across the highway…and several cars jockeying to get between them. Really? The clearest road to drive on is the bit they just plowed, so where are you going in such a hurry?

Into a snowbank, most likely.

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