By now we’ve all heard about the snowstorm in Atlanta that caused people to be stuck on the freeway for an exorbitant amount of time. Like much of the news, I was aware of it, but didn’t pay that close of attention to the details initially. But once I did, I was pretty shocked at the whole thing.
There were 797 reported accidents and people spending the night in vehicles because of 2.6 inches of snow. Is this not crazy? Maybe it’s just me and the fact that I grew up in a part of the country where winter actually means something. It isn’t just a season, it’s an ordeal. Hell, yesterday I drove through 4 inches of snow to go fishing. Yes, almost double the amount seen in Atlanta – for leisure.
What kind of cars are these people driving? And what kind of driving schools are they attending? Again, maybe I’m being coarse, but I can’t imagine just over two inches of snow causing such chaos. Do they see snow flying and panic, causing them to mash on the gas and into other cars? Even slowing down slightly should allow you to avoid the problem.
I don’t mean to keep harping on my own experiences…well, actually I do. Regardless, in college I drove a ‘95 Mustang through two Wisconsin winters. This was a mid-90s Mustang with just about zero weight on the rear drive wheels. This certainly wasn’t a vehicle equipped with ride control like many that these folks were driving.
Then there was Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed talking about how the city had recently invested $2.5 million on snow removal equipment and “that is the reason that right now our streets are passable.” You needed $2.5 million dollars worth of equipment to remove 2.6 inches of snow? It’s Atlanta. I’m guessing it would have melted away pretty quickly.
Again, obviously these people have no experience in wintry road conditions. And I don’t want to poke fun at those that were stranded or worse. That really does suck – and it was a “perfect storm” of shit for an area that never even gets below freezing. Not to mention, it appears that officials are all deflecting the blame for lack of preparedness.
But honestly, slow down a little out there, increase your stopping distance. I think we can do better than 797 accidents next time.