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Driving in snow

Saurabh Pillai
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 12, 2008
Posts: 507
Hello Guys,

Tomorrow I have a flight from JFK airport,NY to India. I would be driving from Philly,PA to NY in the snow. I know it's crazy as it's going to snow 8 + inches. but I do not have any other option. Finger crossed for reaching airport safe and secure and hopefully flight would depart on time.

Any suggestion?
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24184
    
  34

Do you get to pick the car? Four wheel drive helps a lot.

Leave as early as possible, to give yourself lots of time; you don't want to rush.

Leave lots of space between you and the guy in front.

If you feel yourself starting to spin (i.e., the car, seen from above, is starting to rotate) steer in the direction the car is spinning. If the car is turning clockwise, then speed up and steer to the right. This is the opposite of what most people will do by reflex, but if you brake and/or steer to the left, you'll just spin faster. The idea is to get the car under your control again.

If you're trying to make a turn and the car keeps going straight, don't turn the wheel more; you just make things worse. Again, unfortunately, that's what most people do by reflex. Instead, straighten the wheel out until you start to feel like you're regaining control, and then try to turn again, gently, if possible.


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Mike Simmons
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 05, 2008
Posts: 3014
    
  10
If you can't get a four-wheel or all-wheel drive, at least get front-wheel drive. With good snow tires if possible.

It can be worthwhile to take some extra time to find a big empty parking lot somewhere and practice a bit when it's got several inches of snow on it. See what happens when you slam on the brakes, or turn sharply. When you start to spin, see if you can get out of it by following EFH's instructions.
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18829
    
  40

Of course, this can all be moot, if JFK shuts down due to the snow storm.

Henry


Books: Java Threads, 3rd Edition, Jini in a Nutshell, and Java Gems (contributor)
Saurabh Pillai
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 12, 2008
Posts: 507
@ EFH and Mike - Thank you guys. I really appreciate your help.

@ Henry - That's true but I hope they learned a lesson from last blizzard and will be proactive.

Here is one update I got a shuttle from pro service so I am not going to drive.
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Saurabh Pillai wrote:...I got a shuttle from pro service so I am not going to drive.



"We're kind of on the level of crossword puzzle writers... And no one ever goes to them and gives them an award." ~Joe Strummer
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Saurabh Pillai
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 12, 2008
Posts: 507
I have a question regarding cleaning up the roads. I know they clear city roads but what about freeways? I know it may not be practical to clear freeways but any precautionary steps?

Just trying visualize next 10-12 hours.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4655
    
    5

Take the train. Let someone else do the driving.
Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 38793
    
  23
Saurabh Pillai wrote: . . . I know it may not be practical to clear freeways but any precautionary steps? . . .
They do in Europe. But Pat Farrell's advice is probably the best.
Janeice DelVecchio
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Sep 14, 2009
Posts: 1665
    
  11

Here in CT we got about 2 feet so far and it's still coming down. I would be surprised if any planes left NY today. And I'm glad I'm not driving!!!


When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4655
    
    5

Saurabh Pillai wrote: I know they clear city roads but what about freeways? I know it may not be practical to clear freeways but any precautionary steps?

In general, PA, NJ and NY do a very good job of keeping the Interstates and toll roads clear. Its the city and suburban streets that are problems. But if its snowing a lot, keeping the highways clear may mean keeping it plowed to less than a couple of inches of snow. With the lack of talent in most drivers on American roads, a couple of inches can still make it very dangerous and slow.

Beware of bozos in four wheel drive SUVs. The four wheel drive gives then very good traction at starting, so they can get to speed quickly. But nothing repeals the laws of physics. A 4000 pound SUV at speed is not going to turn or brake any better than any other car. Far too many of the bozos don't understand this.
Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 38793
    
  23
Pat Farrell wrote: . . . not going to turn or brake . . .
We have got rid of all the snow we had in Yorkshire earlier, but I managed to skid at about 3mph. Only about 3 feet, until there was some road free from ice, but I still skidded. We had one day when our street shone in the sunshine like a mirror. It looked really nice, but in the time it took me to cycle home from the dentists' (about 5 minutes, < ½ mile, but I walked some of it), I saw about 4 vehicles skidding. Fortunately none was doing any speed.

I had to go to Stockton (about 4 miles from here) last Saturday night. It was cold about 9.00, rained from about 9.30 to 11.00, then turned clear and cold, then rained and sleeted alternately from about 12.00 to 1.30, then turned clear and cold. The streets were covered in a ¼ inch layer of smooth ice. I fell off on Silver St, but only at 2mph, so wasn't hurt. I ended up walking most of the way home. The ice didn't clear until late on Sunday.
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Pat Farrell wrote:... In general, PA, NJ and NY do a very good job of keeping the Interstates and toll roads clear. Its the city and suburban streets that are problems. But if its snowing a lot, keeping the highways clear may mean keeping it plowed to less than a couple of inches of snow...

Same in MN. They're usually proactive about keeping freeways clear, with trucks sometimes disbursing chemicals even before the storm hits. Suburban streets... It depends. City streets (in Minneapolis)... Forget about it.

Pat Farrell wrote:... Beware of bozos in four wheel drive SUVs. The four wheel drive gives then very good traction at starting, so they can get to speed quickly. But nothing repeals the laws of physics. A 4000 pound SUV at speed is not going to turn or brake any better than any other car. Far too many of the bozos don't understand this.

I've personally witnessed 2 such SUV crashes just in the past week. One of them slid almost perpendicular to the freeway, across 3 lanes, and crashed head-on into the center concrete barrier (without which, the SUV would have continued into oncoming freeway traffic). Fortunately, that remained a single-vehicle accident.

Oh, wait... That was predictable and preventable, so it shouldn't be called an "accident."
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18829
    
  40

Pat Farrell wrote:Take the train. Let someone else do the driving.


It's also definitely the fastest route. Amtrak from Philly to Penn Station NYC, LIRR from Penn Statin to Jamaica, and the monorail from Jamaica to JFK.

Henry
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4655
    
    5

Henry Wong wrote:It's also definitely the fastest route. Amtrak from Philly to Penn Station NYC, LIRR from Penn Statin to Jamaica, and the monorail from Jamaica to JFK.


Yeah, I can't see many cases when driving would make sense. Renting a car just to make that trip is way too much hassle, even without snow or other bad things.
Saurabh Pillai
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 12, 2008
Posts: 507
Hello Guys,

Thank you very much for your help. I just wanted to update you that I reached India safe and secure. Just total 1.5 hours delay to actual arrival time.

As I mentioned before , I got the shuttle. Roads were not very icy. Driver did a very good job because we reached in just 2 hours and 15 minutes. Traffic was only 40% to regular traffic.

End well so all is well.

Thank you again.
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24184
    
  34

Excellent, thanks for letting us know!
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4655
    
    5

Glad you had a safe and successful trip
Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30512
    
150

A 90 minute delay isn't bad at all. Especially as a percentage of the total trip. I'm glad it worked out well for you.


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