Monday, December 22, 2008

Respect on the Road

It sure is time to cuddle up and settle in around here. We've had one blizzard after another and it is still snowing. Friday was so bad that a lot of businesses in town closed. The other girls at work left early and so did I.

Blizzards like this affect our household a lot because Brian works for the road commission. That means that he came home at 10 PM on Friday, worked 7 AM - 3 PM on Saturday, and then 14 hours yesterday. Since he gets a lot of crap from people who think his job is so great, we're quick to point out the downsides! When the phone rings he has to go, regardless of what he's doing. He is allowed to decline, especially if he's had a beer or is out of town, but he rarely ever does. I am hoping now that he worked all weekend that maybe he won't get called on Christmas Eve. That is when my family's big Christmas is and it would be a real bummer if he couldn't go.

The picture up above is Brian's road grader. That is what he drives most of the time, pushing back snow from the sides of the road or scraping the berms in warmer weather. In the interest of safety for everyone, I have a few suggestions for dealing with equipment on the road:

-Don't pass unless you have LOTS of room. Road commission workers (at least around here) are not allowed to pull you out if you go in the ditch, and most will just laugh at you if you ditch it trying to pass them. Of course if you get hurt they will help, but if you're stuck plan to sit there awhile. Don't you think you deserve it!? If you have plenty of room go ahead and pass but do so slowly and cautiously.

-Stay a safe distance back. This means stay back far enough that they can see you in their mirrors (like a semi) and far enough away that flying snow, etc. is not going to hit you or impair your vision.

-Slow down when you see flashing lights. You never know when a guy is out of his truck fixing or adjusting something, and I'm sure you don't want it on your conscious if you hit him.

-If you don't have 4x4 and/or aren't completely confident you can stay on the roads - just STAY HOME!! Even if you stay on the road, constant traffic really slows down the process of getting the roads cleared. The county does have to plow a path for you if you are stuck ON the road, and that is just a big waste of time when most people who get stuck like that could have taken a much better route. Which leads to...

-Stick to the main roads whenever possible. Even if it is a few miles out of your way, the state highways will be cleared first, then primary roads, then secondary roads.

I hope this helps a little with your winter driving woes. I know it can be very frustrating when you get stuck behind a slow moving plow. Just please remember that those guys usually don't want to be out there any more than you do, and you won't get there any quicker if you're stuck in the ditch waiting for a wrecker.

Be Safe! :)

1 comment:

Abbie said...

That's why I'm so glad I'm a teacher and I get to stay home when the roads are bad.

This morning we had a delay but the back roads I travel were still very icy when I left (90 minutes late) at 8:00. I had some guy in a convertable on my tail the whole way and I was hoping he didn't hit me, fortunately he didn't. Turning into school, I was on ice and slid right through a red light. Fortunately nobody was coming! And I have 4X4. It'll help you go, not help you stop.