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Driving to work... maybe not - Elizabeth Unexplained
Lots of data but no answers
Driving to work... maybe not
So, it snowed here yesterday and the day before. We got 38 inches. That's a lot of snow.

The streets have been plowed, but not down to the ashpalt. If you drive, you're driving on an inch or more of really hard packed snow, and there's often bits where you hit of couple of inches of the chunky stuff.

I spent several hours yesterday shovelling Midnight out, with every intention of driving her to work this morning. This morning I finished the job (the plows having covered her wheels again during the night), got in and reversed out of the snow bank that her front end was still buried in. (I should mention here that Midnight is an awesome care, and you should not try that trick with an ordinary car.) I then proceeded to remove the two feet of snow on her hood, roof and windshield, and then I drove her to Davis Square. I arrived at the Harvard-Vanguard lab to get my blood drawn. All went smoothly, and I was out of there by 8:15.

A curious thing had happened,though, between 8am and 8:15. In that brief span of time the idiot factor on the roads has increased exponentially. I headed up Holland and turned onto Broadway heading for route 16. I was halfway there when I made up my mind. I pulled into the Foodmaster parking lot, and called my boss, informing him that I was aborting my attempt to get to work.

I don't think anyone who reads my journal drives an SUV, but if you know someone who does, or who just drives like they do, please inform them of the following:

Four wheel drive does not help you stop.
ABS brakes do not make you stop faster, they just help prevent skids, and they're not fool-proof at that either.
Ten miles an hour may be plenty fast enough under some conditions. Live with it.
Also, what does not constitute tailgating on dry pavement is often tailgating on packed snow.
Do not honk your horn at me. If I'm not going in these conditions, I have a damn good reason.

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Current Mood: indescribable indescribable

17 comments or Leave a comment
twe From: twe Date: January 24th, 2005 08:58 am (UTC) (Link)

Grr, SUVs

I also hate the one that parked across the driveway my car was parked next to, leaving 6-8 inches between our bumpers. On the other side of my car is a snow pile about the size of my car.
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: January 24th, 2005 09:41 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Grr, SUVs

He probably didn't see you. I have this theory that driving an SUV makes all reasonable sized cars invisible. They ceratainly act as though Midnight is invisible when they drive/park near me, and last I checked the VW Jetta was a mid-sized sedan.
mijven From: mijven Date: January 24th, 2005 09:00 am (UTC) (Link)

I left myself what I considered an overkill amount of space this morning to break at the end of our road (also packed snow, and I was going 15 miles per hour.) I was astounded that I needed almost all of it up! Eek! Given that this spot is SUV & minivan hell at the end of the school day, I know where *I'm* not going to be come 3pm.
mijven From: mijven Date: January 24th, 2005 09:18 am (UTC) (Link)

(Although I should note that it is not outside the realm of possibility for our next car - when Sweetie's current car dies - to be verging into this territory... minivans especially are terribly tempting.)
merastra From: merastra Date: January 24th, 2005 09:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Minivans make more sense to me than SUV's. Though I admit that I haven't looked at either seriously. Minivans are for lots of people at stuff; that much seems clear. SUV's are for sedan-numbers of people and driving off-road?
twe From: twe Date: January 24th, 2005 09:33 am (UTC) (Link)
And for being tall, blocking the view of cars behind you, and shining your headlights in your face and mirrors.

They might handle better than mini-vans, but then I've sworn off all vans for the rest of my life now. :)
countertorque From: countertorque Date: January 24th, 2005 10:57 am (UTC) (Link)
SUV's are increasingly for people who want to ride around in an oversized car. They're extra comfy inside and they aren't required to have good gas mileage. Many of them aren't especially designed to operate off road. They are starting to look more and more like big sedans and less like Jeep's.
twe From: twe Date: January 24th, 2005 11:19 am (UTC) (Link)

Big, comfy SUVs

What makes you say that? Just because you can get luxury SUVs and SUVS with things like a built in DVD player so you can plug your kids into the latest Disney movie for the duration of the trip?

I think people may feel safer in them because they're big, tall, and ostensibly "off-road." Oh yes, and they're got lots of horsepower. That may be the CPU clock speed of automobiles. You're right though, they're just big sedans, except they don't have to follow the sedan rules, which is what really irks me about them.
countertorque From: countertorque Date: January 24th, 2005 01:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Big, comfy SUVs

I say it because they're bigger on the inside than sedans. Having more feet room and more head room and not having to worry about breaking someone's knees when you put your seat back is nice. You can sort of equate it to business class vs. coach on an airplane. That's why limousines are shaped like SUV's a lot of the time now.

People have been arguing about horsepower since well before there was a CPU clockspeed :) It went out of style for a bit in the late 70's and early 80's because of the oil crisis. They're putting the same big engines in sedans. The Chrysler 300 has an optional 340HP V8 Hemi engine. And considering the lighter weight and lower drag, the sedans can probably move better. The real win for the SUV lovers is the internal space.
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: January 24th, 2005 09:37 am (UTC) (Link)

Minivans != SUVs

I must say that I don't think minivans are as bad as SUVs. True, the are large and you can't see past them, but the drivers don't seem to be any more stupid than the average car driver, whereas SUV drivers seem to be aggressily rotten.

I also have sympathy for those with two or more children who are tempted by the minivan. It really is designed for hauling kids. Of course, I don't have kids. On the other hand, my boss has three, and he owns a minivan for driving them around in. With three kids, Its hard to think what else he could reasonably use to take road trips to Disneyland without going insane.
twe From: twe Date: January 24th, 2005 09:57 am (UTC) (Link)

Back in my day...

Someday you should hear about the 6 week cross country trip my parents took with their 4 kids (2-12) in a sedan. :) Kids today seem to come with more gear though.
mijven From: mijven Date: January 24th, 2005 10:47 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Back in my day...

We managed three kids in a wagon for long carrides. But since I also remember being stretched out reading in the way back (on top of a sleeping bag alongside all our suitcases) I fear that would be illegal today.

As might be the times I rode with my parents up front, given that I think I remember being a lapchild in addition to occasionally sitting between them. (Illegal for no other reason than there's no shoulder belt in the middle spot. The non-legal reason being the advisory against kids under twelve sitting in the front. And if I were over twelve, then my brother would have been away at school, thus making us less than three kids. ;)

I cannot remember how things were arranged when we added the dog to this mess. Other than station wagons being boats Way Back When.
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: January 24th, 2005 11:03 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Back in my day...

Yes, but did your parents go insane in the process, or were they crazy to begin with.

Given the territorial disputes that I had with my one sibling, and the similar territorial disputes that Warren reports having with his one sibling, I might be tempted with a minivan if I ever have more than two munchkins to drive around. On the other hand, given that I am 34 and I've yet to become pregnant it might not be an issue.

From: (Anonymous) Date: January 24th, 2005 10:45 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Minivans != SUVs

The difference is that the SUV driver runs into you because they're on the phone, and the minivan driver because one kid just bit the other.
twe From: twe Date: January 24th, 2005 11:14 am (UTC) (Link)


They do seem to be more aggressively rotten than any other type of car. The idiot going the wrong way down my street (laughing about it) was a behemouth of an SUV.

They are all about equally frustrating to be behind in stop & go traffic. (Though white ones empirically seem to be worse...can't imagine why that would be.)
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: January 24th, 2005 11:29 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Minivans != SUVs

(I consider minivans for hauling around friends who don't have cars - which, given our friends, is much like hauling around children. Why else would my armrest keep going up and down without me touching it?)
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: January 24th, 2005 11:36 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Minivans != SUVs

Yes, hauling car-less friend is another good reason why minivans are OK in my book whilst SUVs are evil incarnate. Of course, having been a car-less adult for several years I may not be unbiased. I much appreciate those friends who hauled me around for years, and admire those who's choice in car is influenced by their desire to haul friends around.
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