HUMOR – I don’t know about you, but this cold weather makes me even more grouchy and irrational than usual. Surely someone is to blame for this miserably frigid air. I have spent five minutes researching this online and have found our smoking gun.
According to the Internet, a jet stream has dipped south over the Pacific Ocean, allowing a large amount of icy Canadian air to invade the western United States. So, it turns out that Canada is to blame – as if we needed a reason besides Justin Bieber to hold an unreasonable grudge against Canada.
Sometime during my Google searches of “Why is it so cold?!” and “annoying Canadian celebrities,” I came up with a plan.
I am never going to leave my house again.
Not to worry, I have thought this through. I will live off of my stockpile of Top Ramen and Stephen’s hot cocoa. After that runs out I will have Jimmy John’s sandwiches delivered for the rest of my life. I will not have any friends or interact in society, but that is OK because I can spend my days reassembling my one jigsaw puzzle and muttering to myself.
The problem is I have had very few successful winter driving experiences. And by successful, I mean experiences when I made it safely to my destination as opposed to the Brigham City hospital emergency room with broken bones and shredded internal organs. Driving in winter terrifies me.
But in case my hermit plan does not work out – i.e. I run out of toilet paper – I have concocted a far-fetched, last resort Plan B, which is to buy a decent winter coat and overcome my paralyzing fear of driving in the snow and ice.
Ever helpful, the Utah Department of Public Safety has posted an unintentionally funny Snowplow Trivia Quiz on their website, as well as a list of winter driving tips, including:
- If you don’t have to go anywhere when the weather’s bad, stay home!
- Check all road conditions and weather forecast (1-866-511-UTAH or commuterlink.utah.gov or UDOT road weather alerts).
- Let someone know your itinerary, especially for long trips (Costco run comes to mind). Make sure your vehicle is prepared for the conditions.
- Clear snow and ice from your vehicle’s windows, mirrors, lights, and license plates.
- As always, buckle up!
- Turn lights on at dusk, in rain, snow and fog – but don’t turn on your brights in foggy conditions.
- TAKE IT SLOW — reduce your speed.
- Avoid quick stops, starts and turns — smooth and gradual movements will help you stay in control of your vehicle (driving the Bloomington roundabout five times daily could be good practice for this tip).
- Leave extra space between you and other vehicles, especially snowplows.
- Use extra caution on bridges, ramps, overpasses and in shaded areas — they are likely to freeze first and stay frozen the longest.
- Watch for snow removal equipment.
- If your vehicle starts to skid, steer into the direction of the slide.
- Be focused, alert and aware — pay attention to what’s going on around you.
Obviously, this is a situation which also requires a catchphrase. And who does one turn to when one is in need of a catchy slogan about driving in winter? The Utah Department of Public Safety, of course.
They say: “Ice and snow, take it slow!”
I say: “Ice and snow, I just won’t go anywhere for the rest of my life, thanks.”
And: “P.S. I hate Canada.”
Which is why no tax dollars are given to me for catchphrase creation, I suppose.
I don’t think I hate Canada. I think that is just the cold weather grouchiness talking.
Printable PDF – Click here: Vehicle Preparation and Safety Precautions for Winter Weather.
- Winter Storm Warning: Statewide snow, gusty winds, road alerts – Dec. 6-8, 2013
- Blackrock Motorsports cancels drag racing fundraiser, unsafe weather conditions – Dec. 6-7, 2013
- Grand Canyon’s North Rim closed for winter season
- Skating in Southern Utah? Ice rink projects past, present, permanent
- Snowfall triggers multiple accidents on interstate
- Snowfall in Southern Utah; STGnews Photo Gallery
Elise Haynes chronicles family life in her blog Haynes Family Yard Sale. Any opinions stated in this column are her own and not necessarily those of St. George News.
Email: [email protected]
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