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Advice for snow-driving impaired
Snow happens. This is Iowa, after all. But each year a surprising number of local drivers forget that they live in a place where snow falls. Even some born-and-raised Iowans act like 80-year-old Floridians when the first few snowflakes hit the streets. It doesn’t seem to matter if we get 2 inches or 20 inches, drivers lose common sense. So we offer the following advice to those who seem to have trouble getting their four wheels moving when the groundcover is white.

Step on the accelerator. We are convinced that more accidents happen in town when drivers go 3 mph in the snow and back up dozens of other cars, whose drivers in turn step on the gas to pass them only to end up in a snow bank. Use the same urgency driving home that you had when you rushed off to the store to stock up on milk and bread.

Understand that green still means go. Few things are more frustrating than sitting at a stoplight behind 20 cars, seeing the stoplight turn green, and watching only three or four cars pass through before it turns red again. What’s the holdup?

Stay in your lane. That faint yellow line you see beneath the snow isn’t meant to be a centering device for your hood ornament. Pick a lane, any lane. And stay there, unless it is a turning lane and you are going straight (see next point).

Don’t be in the right lane if you are not going to turn right. This is just good manners in any weather, but especially when traffic gets backed up. Wake up, people. There are others on the road.

Dress for the weather. A little common sense, please. Dresses and high heels are not appropriate attire for blizzards. Pack some boots. Better yet, put them on.

Let the snowplow drivers do their jobs. Despite Des Moines Public Works Director Bill Stowe’s television comments implying that city workers with impending layoffs won’t give their full efforts, they actually do. Get out of their way.

Turn your phone off. Your sister in Minnesota will do just fine without hearing from you today. Save it until you get home and focus on the road.

If all else fails, get off the road. If snow scares you that much, take the bus. Arrange to get a ride. Invest in a dogsled. Move to Arizona. We really don’t care, but do the rest of us a favor and don’t drive. CV



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