Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Weather Chaos: Again!

The wife is a carer for autistic adults and tonight she's working overnight because staff haven't been able to get into work due to the chaos caused by the snow. Its higly likely she'll be working tomorrow as well covering absent staff.
I took her overnight clothes to her work, which is 3 miles away. The 6 mile round trip took me 2 hours!!

Now, I must say this, at no point on my journey did I feel that conditions were bad. In fact, I could have happily done the journey in a quarter of the time, except for the poor driving skills of others. It really does seem that Southern drivers don't have the faintest idea how to drive in slippery conditions.

Twice, in my journey, I passed cars that were failing to get up the slightest of inclines, wheels spinning. One one occasion, a car I was following slithered to a halt, front wheels spinning away, after losing grip. After waiting for the driver to realise, ease off the power and regain grip, I indicated, pulled out and overtook the car. My son in the passenger seat noticed the driver was open mouthed as I overtook them where they had failed.

The thing is, it wasn't isolated instances. Time after time, I saw drivers losing grip and instead of backing off the power, they were pressing the accelerator and just increasing the problem.

Southern drivers, please take note: you don't need a 4x4 to get around in this weather, its still within the capabilities of 2 wheel drive vehicles. All you have to remember, is that grip is extremely reduced, so the amount of throttle available to use before the wheels spin up is minimal. So, feather foot the throttle, pull away with minimal throttle; idling if necessary. If the wheels do lose grip, then back off the throttle and control the clutch until the wheels stop spinning and grip is restored. You can drive up icy and snowy hills if you take it easy.

Also remember in icy conditions, you can't rely on ABS brakes. On ice, if the wheels lose grip and the ABS kicks in, it can severely increase your stopping distance. Feather foot the brakes, leave plenty of room to stop, don't go faster than conditions allow you to.

After all of the above, I wonder if I'll get into work in the morning as buses have been cancelled and I don't fancy cycling 4 miles there and back on ice and snow.

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