February 2, 2007

Curse of the Snow Sissies

On the first major snow of the year, people drive like idiots and cause all sorts of accidents and pile-ups.

And I guess I’m one of them.

Truly, people shouldn’t be out on the road in really bad conditions. That’s part of the problem. Years ago, a coworker who commuted from Boston to Dartmouth called himself a “snow sissy” because he decided he wasn’t going to come in on days it snowed. He worked remotely. It is an idea worthy of consideration.

I don’t do that because I’ve got a relatively short commute, am pretty good at driving in the snow, and drive a Jeep.

This morning, on my way to work, I was cursing the lack of snow management on the roads of Dartmouth when I tried to turn into the driveway where I work. It turns out that some water had frozen under the snow at the front of the driveway and it was especially slick there. And, genius that I am, I didn’t check my tires at the beginning of the winter season to see if they needed replacing. They, in fact, did need replacing.

My stopping distance was, therefore, lengthened. And there is very little clearance on the turn I was trying to make. So I didn’t. Make it, that is. I drove up onto the snow and then up onto a small stone wall. That stopped me. I was now, officially, one of the first-snow-of-the-year casualties. After finding out that UMass Dartmouth was not interested in helping me get off the wall (two of the grounds workers who saw my problem did try to help me out, but their boss did not want to send help) I was contemplating using the jack to lift myself off the wall.

I didn’t have to. A kind passerby used a tow cable and yanked me off the wall.

It seems that all I damaged was one of my tires, and they needed to be replaced anyhow.

I decided to go out at lunch and replace the tires, and that is a story in itself. Since this post is long enough, I’ll give you the short version. I went out to buy 4 tires for my car and I came back unsuccessful after over an hour of effort. And when I inspected my tires to see if I was going to be in any danger on the way home, I realized the that tires on my rims were not the tires I had on the car when I hit the wall. They were used, but slightly better condition, tires. And I am not certain who’s they are or exactly how they got there.

True story!

Posted by James at February 2, 2007 12:46 PM
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Are you sure they weren't the same tires, reversed or rotated?

Or, uh, maybe a different verhicle? ;-)

Posted by: Julie at February 2, 2007 2:47 PM

Hey James,

Remember 4WD helps you GO in the snow but does nothing to help you STOP. In fact the heavier the vehicle, the harder it is to stop. Please don't be one of the morons in the median of 495 that I drive by almost every snowstorm. 90% of them are SUVs.

Posted by: B.O.B. (bob) at February 2, 2007 2:52 PM

Tires and brakes are what help you stop, which I know, and why my old tires were such a problem. But I didn't expect Dartmouth to be so behind on the snow handling at 10AM! I waited to hit the road because of huge backups on 195.

Still, I should have tried to slow down on that turn much earlier.

Posted by: James at February 2, 2007 3:19 PM

Stuff happens, even to smart people. Glad to hear you're alright, James. I have my own memorable "car meets wall" story from years ago but in my case I drove off one.

Posted by: Mike at February 2, 2007 3:23 PM

I was coming home from work at around 8:30ish this morning and was shocked to hear of all the trouble 'back home'.

I did see a brand new Pontiac that became part of the bushes and brush on the side of the road!

Roland's Tires in Somerset comes HIGHLY recommended!

Posted by: Lefty at February 2, 2007 3:42 PM

I am so glad to hear you are OK! but WTF about the tires being replaced... !!!!

Posted by: mjfrombuffalo at February 2, 2007 3:43 PM

Glad you are ok and your ice slide wreck did not end like mine. This broken collarbone thing is the pits.

Posted by: leslie at February 2, 2007 3:48 PM

What B.O.B. said. :) And glad you weren't hurt.

Posted by: pippa at February 2, 2007 4:14 PM

What happened to Leslie??

Posted by: Julie at February 2, 2007 4:28 PM

The guys at the tire place apparently put some other tires on my car. They were used tires, but they weren't mine.

Actually, they're slightly better than the tires I had on there, so I was happy. But I still have to replace my tires.

Posted by: James at February 2, 2007 5:45 PM

What tire place did you go to? Was it Town Fair? That was nice of them.

Posted by: Julie at February 2, 2007 5:46 PM

Tires gnomes! Yay!

Posted by: leslie at February 2, 2007 7:37 PM

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