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Old 12-13-2008, 10:52 PM
 
546 posts, read 2,074,330 times
Reputation: 158

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I had the most difficult time in my life driving through snow today. I have a Toyota XB 06 scion car, if I drove too fast, my car would slide to the side, it was SO scary, with all my guests in my car, I had to drive 5-10 mils per hr, everyone else was driving slow too, but how to Utah people drive to work under this kind of weather condition? Even though the snow plow trucks were diligently doing their work, it still wasn’t fast enough to make the roads clear. I saw cars getting stuck on the side walk waiting to get helped and some went off the freeway waiting to get rescued, this all made me very worried about the entire snowy season. May I ask, why isn’t there anyone uses snow chain under this kind of weather condition and how do people drive to work, especially those to live far from work? My tire is the all season tires, but is it because my car is too small? I even see large trucks sliding to my side almost hitting my car as they were turning. Please share your thoughts….I drove around state street, freeway I 80E, Parley's Way.....Murray..etc..for your info. thanks.

Last edited by hueimo; 12-13-2008 at 11:01 PM..
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:07 PM
 
Location: East Millcreek
550 posts, read 2,060,986 times
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Here, we're just used to it But the key is definitely to take it nice and slow, and I was a bit white-knuckled too driving down 9th East. Thankfully, everyone else was taking it easy but some nimrods () went too fast and skidded down the road (ugh). Oh well, a storm of this caliber tends to happen this time of year every year and most importantly, the ski resorts benefit.
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:09 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,859 posts, read 61,535,397 times
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While I wasn't driving today, I have driven in heavy snow in other years and when the plows hadn't been by my street yet. I do have a heavier car so maybe that's the difference. And my cars have all been front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

The slide-offs are usually people who drive too fast for the conditions. I see people going 40-50 when I feel safe going 30. Chains don't do so much as people might think and they can be hard to put on/off. They damage the roads when not needed and make a loud noise. All-season tires might not be enough for a small car but they do make snow tires - don't know how effective. The smallest car I drove here was a Honda Accord, then a Subaru Outback and now a Subaru Tribecka. Sorry you had such a scary day.
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:15 PM
 
546 posts, read 2,074,330 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernBelleInUtah View Post
Chains don't do so much as people might think and they can be hard to put on/off.
thanks for your input. can't I just leave the chain on at all times? what happens if I don't take it off? Lmejh, thanks for your input as well!!
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Old 12-14-2008, 09:09 AM
 
273 posts, read 1,187,539 times
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hueimo, two words: snow tires. I have said this before. I have a small front wheel drive Mazda with four snow tires, it did excellent yesterday. All season tires are not made for severe snow / ice conditions and they can be really bad depending on their wear. And the less experience you have driving in snow the more you will need every aid you can get.

And chains are only good for traction on ice. They will do very little to help you stop.
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Old 12-14-2008, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,859 posts, read 61,535,397 times
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Thanks DP for the advice about chains. I knew someone here had said something about them before, but I could not think who!
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:13 AM
 
Location: West Jordan, UT
494 posts, read 1,777,618 times
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I second getting snow tires. I commuted for 5 years from West Jordan to the U of U in a Taurus with snow tires (no ABS, no traction control, etc). Never got stuck, never missed class. I very rarely saw vehicles in the valley with chains on. For one, they tear up the pavement, and with the budget cuts that are coming, the roads need all the help they can get!
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Old 12-14-2008, 01:56 PM
 
273 posts, read 1,187,539 times
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Think of it this way: when you have to walk outside in fresh snow, what do you want on your feet; comfortable, do-it-all summer loafers or a good pair of snow boots with a really aggressive soft rubber sole?

So why would you expect your car NOT to slip around in the snow while you have it wearing do-it-all loafers? Spend the money and get some proper snow tires. You can use them for at least 3-4 seasons (put the all-seasons back on in the spring) so the yearly cost is quite low. I will guarantee you the yearly cost (and maybe even the total up-front cost) is less then your insurance deductable.
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Old 12-14-2008, 01:59 PM
 
8,440 posts, read 12,261,021 times
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Post Coping with Winter Driving

I agree about the limitations of chains. I could be wrong about this, but I think it is state law when they can be on. I don't know the dates, since I don't use them, but know chains have to be off in March - April due to the damage of roads.

I use all the all season tires with an SUV. I've been ok. However, my biggest help is my brain.

On bad days, I leave much earlier or take different streets. I do remain amazed at those who think they can drive 40-50 when I may feel safe only at 10-20 mph. Fortunately, those days don't happen too often out of the 365 days a year. It is easy to forgot when we're getting a series of storms the total number of days/year we actually have storms this severe and what it is like to drive in them.

I do watch weather forecasts and check the radar on my Blackberry frequently to try to be out prior to the storms, when I possibly can.

Bad weather winter days makes the hot July weather just a little easier some years.

Hang in there.....the first couple of bad driving days are difficult for everyone. As Lmejh wrote, these days are good for the ski resorts so I try to think about those who have more job security because of the snow. (well it beats thinking how no one could benefit from these condition).

Listen to relaxing music or a book on CD/tape, or enjoy those in a vehicle with you. It makes the experience a little easier.

MSR
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Old 12-14-2008, 07:31 PM
 
9,018 posts, read 10,879,481 times
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I've driven a front wheel drive car that has fairly poor road clearance (sporty coupe) and really haven't had a problem unless the snow on the road is deeper than 6" or so. At 5" I'm basically a snowplow. This is with some high end all season radials. The above post is correct - it's mostly just driving properly. Watch your speed, DO NOT GET BRAKE HAPPY - it's better to decelerate early rather than having to brake suddenly or strongly. Braking hard is a good way to lose traction. Be easy on the gas pedal, go proper speeds for the conditions, keep lotsa space between you and other vehicles, keep your windshield wipers in good shape and your washer fluid full. My biggest fear in winter driving are the overconfident people who drive way too fast, or those who just plain don't know what they are doing. At intersections, if the roads are very snow or icy, I always check both ways to make sure a car isn't going to come sliding through the intersection from braking suddenly! Oh one last thing, avoid areas in the lanes that are next to semi trucks tires. If the road is snowy or even slushy they can throw a huge volume of junk onto your windshield and completely overwhelm your wipers and block your view.

I would also highly recommend snow tires as others have said. We are planning on putting them on this season as we live in a hilly area, and I could see them coming in handy. Chains aren't that great imo - they force you to drive slow, chew up the road, chew up your tires, are a pain to install, make for a loud and rough ride, etc.

Just hang in there, be careful, and after a while you get used to it - to a point. I avoid driving in those conditions if at all possible.
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