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SUVs 3 – Utility Poles 0

Yesterday was a tough day to be a light pole locally. Within 4 hours three of them were taken out by locals who couldn’t keep their ‘tanks’ between the lines at 40 MPH with a little rain on the road.

People don’t seem to understand that four-wheel-drive is not an advantage on water or ice – it just means you have 4 wheels spinning instead of two. If there is snow or sand to grip they are great, but slow and straight is the only safe way to drive in the rain or on ice – if you must drive at all.

3 comments

1 Steve Bates { 12.31.11 at 1:47 am }

I am always amazed how people in Houston… Houston, f’chrissake… drive on any kind of precipitation. Skidding is so common that I avoid the roads under several specific conditions: first light rain after a long dry spell; sleet or snow (even the lightest; people here just can’t handle it); ice solidified on streets for half a day or more. I remember several occasions when I was bicycle commuting when I was just fine… knew the limits of my bike, the condition of my tires, the response of the wet/scummy/icy/snowy surface, etc., but they… just a few of them, mostly in automobiles… hadn’t a clue, and endangered everyone else’s life and property. Yikes!

2 Badtux { 12.31.11 at 8:16 am }

Not to mention that most of the people with 4-wheel-drive SUV’s *have never had their SUV in 4-wheel-drive mode*, and indeed have no idea what that ‘4wd’ button on their dashboard does.

Steve, the problem with Houston’s roads is that they get well-oiled by all the beaters that drive in Houston, then that first rain after a long time turns them into oil slicks in the traffic lanes, something you probably wouldn’t have experienced there in the gutter since the oil hadn’t spent months just soaking into the pavement there. If there was a law that said you had to keep the oil in your beater rather than on the road… and oooh, don’t even start on the antifreeze, that stuff is slipperier than snot and beaters tend to spew that all over the roads too. Maybe if Texas created jobs for anybody other than minimum wage call center workers, people could afford real cars rather than oil-and-antifreeze-spewing beaters. Ya think?

3 Bryan { 12.31.11 at 11:56 am }

The first snow of the year in New York that starts as rain then turns to sleet, and finally wet snow around the evening rush hour. The rain freezes on the road and the wet snow packs into the tire treads. I would write up three or four MVAs an hour that day, but by the morning commute people would be back to ‘driving in snow’ mode and accidents dropped off.

Yeah, Badtux, they have that at all of the intersections in San Diego. They stop at the signs and lights and drip fluids onto the road surface. Heavy dew and you go flying into the intersection if you don’t brake much earlier than normal. That’s why they groove the freeways.