Driving The Snowstorm Home

News flash: We just had a snowfall of epic proportions.

There may be a car lurking behind these drifts. Drive with caution! (Photo credit CTNews.com)

Not that it’s changed the habits of some Westport drivers.  This morning, they’re racing down our roads like it’s a brilliant summer Sunday.

On the off-chance any of these Very Important People are paying attention — hey, maybe they’re simultaneously driving and reading “06880” on their iPhones at this very moment! — here are a few tips to avoid becoming a statistic.  (Or making me one.)

  • You may have noticed some mammoth snow drifts.  These are usually not there.  As a result, it’s more difficult than usual to proceed out of side streets and lots, or through intersections.  Drivers must move beyond the Himalayan piles, to see where they’re going.  If you’re one of those drivers, do so s-l-o-w-l-y.  If you’re driving past such a mountain, expect the unexpected.
  • Plow guys are today’s heroes.  We want them everywhere, and we want them now. But while we’re pleased our guy is cleaning our driveway, we have to remember the other guy is doing the same.  Watch out for plows coming into the road, and around corners.  Whether it’s right or not, they take the right of way.  And those things attached to the front?  They’re wider than a normal vehicle.  In a collision with yours, they win.  Give ’em room.
  • Plenty of parking lots are plowed — sweet!  But you may notice that the snow isn’t actually gone; it’s just pushed back, where your car normally goes.  That means you can’t pull casually into any ol’ spot; if you do, your car’s butt  may stick into the narrow driveable lane, so no one gets by.  This may seem very un-Westport, but you may have to find a spot several feet away from where you’d like, and walk a few extra steps.
  • Though it is tempting to tear down major thoroughfares like the Post Road, , look (briefly) sideways and realize that the shoulders aren’t where they used to be.  They’re right next to you, bonehead! And because the situation’s the same for the guy in the opposite lane, STFD.
  • Another reason to slow the f— down:  As good as most roads are, there’s still random ice and gunk other there.  Lots of it.
  • A 3rd reason:  The 2 feet of snow on top of the car in front of you is about to fly off, directly into your path.  You can’t avoid it, but you don’t have to drive into it at warp speed.
  • If you’re one of those obsessive-compulsive, Lycra-clad Type As who absolutely, positively, must jog every day, no matter what the weather or (this is important) road conditions:  don’t.  You can still get a workout, though.  Shovel.

Got other tips for your fellow motorists?  Click the “Comments” link to add advice.

14 responses to “Driving The Snowstorm Home

  1. My best memory of snow in Fairfield County was, as a 10 year old, going
    house to house and shoveling sidewalks and drive ways for a quarter. That gave me enough “fun money” to last through the summer till autumn when I would go to those same houses and rake leaves.

    • The Dude Abides

      Nice. Unfortunately my father didn’t pay and was very particular about his gravel driveway here. During the first blizzard this year, I saw many shoveling their own driveway. A lost chore that I still sort of enjoy. Not so much on this latest storm. Nasty heavy stuff. Kids could have made a good buck though.

    • long time Westporter

      Someone came to our house on Thursday morning (he does odd jobs across the street) and asked to shovel our driveway. The plow guy was coming but we wanted to help so we said he could shovel the path to our front door. $15 was looked at sort of askance so my husband said $20 was okay. Then two other guys appeared with shovels too and all three set to work. We were glad to help them out … but it took literally only 5 min. and they were done! Even with inflation, to go from a quarter 50 years ago to $80/per hour/per guy is a big leap. 🙂

  2. Love this, Dan. Once again, you have nailed the Zeitgeist of the town. The most homicidal people in town are lycra wearing-baseball cap over a ponytail- anorexic -speeding- behemoth driving with only one person in the car0- mulitaskers.
    Sorry to vent, was almost sidewiped by one and rear ended by another today!

  3. if you are not multi-tasking on a regular basis, you aren’t going to achieve as much as you can within a lifetime. if you aren’t exercising on regular basis, you aren’t going to be healthy enough to achieve as much as you can in a lifetime. if you aren’t driving faster than 25mph…you see where I’m going with this.

    that said, Dan’s tips are fantastic; those snow drifts are impossible to see around or through.

    • long time Westporter

      Saw a good program the other day when the research showed that people who multitask (I’m one) do NOT accomplish more! We just think we do, but the old “concentrate on one thing at a time” actually produced more work done.

  4. I got glared at by two pedestrians when I was going 28 mph in a 25-mph zone this a.m. Chastened, I slowed up.

  5. The Dude Abides

    Much like gun control, I have given up trying to “police” drivers doing whatever. Some get it, some don’t. Life in America. Be safe.

  6. Helpful and needed tips, Dan. Pardon my computer text illiteracy, but what does the last word in the fourth paragraph from the end — STFD — stand for?

  7. Kim Crowther Manning

    Be kind to the people who aren’t fortunate enough to be able to get around in their own cars and must walk or take (and wait for) public transportation. There are very few sidewalks in Westport to begin with, and very few of the ones that do exist are not plowed. Pedestrians must walk on the street, including the Post Road where the shoulders are pretty much non existent right now and the right driving lanes are narrowed by snow. Please don’t honk at these people to get out of your way. Slow down for them, look into the lane next to you before you swerve into it, and be grateful that you are in your nice, warm car, on your way to wherever it is you are going (hopefully – and excusably – a little bit late because you are driving carefully to get there).

  8. mary ruggiero

    I give up – the only thing I could come up with is
    Stay Tuned For Dummies. I’m sure that’s not it.

  9. Hi Mary:
    As Dan explained to me above, take a look at the first part of the paragraph that follows STFD. Good advice for all of us.