Snow in Pennsylvania is nothing new. PA gets some pretty bis snow totals each year. However since I have moved back to PA (15 years ago) I have noticed a change in the drivers of my fellow PAers. They seem to drive more like the southerners I encountered while living in TN for a few years. I can see TNers not being used to the snow and having some issues with logic during winter driving but I do not expect that from a PAer. I will be the first to admit I am a crazy winter driver. I am deathly afraid to drive in the winter and avoid it at all measure. Yes I take a lot of my vacation days in the winter. I am leaning though and I have to say that the right tires and the right vehicle make a world of difference. I used to drive a huge floater boat that did not go for nothing in the winter which added to my winter anxiety. I got a 4 wheel drive vehicle and was still very cautions but much more confidant. I loved that vehicle. It would take me anywhere I pointed it. It was solid like a tank but small enough to park anywhere. The only downfall was the gas mileage. 12 mpg does not get you very far when gas spiked to over $4 a gallon. I panicked and traded it in on a car that got outstanding gas mileage. Going from 12 mpg to 30 mpg was magnificent! The answers to my prayers! However there was a down side or 2 or 5 to this car. One problem was that it ate tires. I was going through at least a set of tires each year - yes I had it aligned and checked by every mechanic around. So what I was saving in gas I would more than putting back into tires and various other checks. There was also a water leak that they never could figure out. Top it all off with this particular car did not go for nothing in the winter or even wet roads for that matter. I stuck with it for 4 years hoping against everything that we would find a fix for it. There just was not one. I finally compromised and went up to an all wheel drive cross over vehicle. It is still on the small size but bigger than my last car. The gas mileage is less then the other car but the driving stability is much greater. It is a compromise I think I am willing to accept. Not to mention my son had outgrown the other car and fits better in the back seat of this one.
We got our first real snow in our area yesterday. I had about 4" at my house. I set out in my AWD car and away I went shaking in my boots the whole way. I mentioned that I work strange shifts so I am usually on the road when no one else is which is just fine by me. However, yesterday I was running about a half hour later and was on the road with a lot of other drivers. My bad, maybe, for not getting up earlier to give me time to tend with the shoveling before I left, however the drivers that I encountered on my way to work were just crazy! Note to self - must get up earlier to tend with snow removal in order to leave on time! I had a person - bless their heart - pull out in front of me and then proceed to go 20 miles an hour. OK I get it the roads are a little bad not as bad as I expected but come on you have a 4 wheel drive, the roads are almost bare and you have to crawl? On top of it all this person was not even in the lane. I followed shaking my head as I watched the vehicle drive most of the way on the berm of the road. Crazy. I finally did get around that person safely and will hopefully not get behind them again!
This just really frustrates me. I am a big chicken when it comes to winter driving but yet there appears to be even bigger chickens than me out there. If that is a true statement - those folks really should have just taken vacation or called in sick that day! I can not put into words my fear of winter driving, just can't articulate it correctly and fully. I am a careful and cautious driver, and know when to just stay in bed and call off work. I know not everyone has that luxury to be able to call off work at a moments notice. Come on, if I can drive in 4" of snow anyone can. I think I am really liking my AWD car. :o)