General Question

blueiiznh's avatar

Banned in Massachusetts! - Are you still going to drive during the storm?

Asked by blueiiznh (16603 points ) February 8th, 2013

Rhode Island and Massachusetts have declared State of Emergencies for the storm.

Mass Governor has issued and Executive Order banning travel on roads as of 4 p.m. today for this “blizzard” that could bring nearly 3 feet of snow.

Are you going to heed the warnings or still drive?

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67 Answers

Mariah's avatar

I definitely wouldn’t drive (if I had a car). I just got back walking to and from the grocery store. It’s nasty out there. Didn’t stop a lot of people from driving, though.

marinelife's avatar

If I were there I would heed the warnings. Why put yourself in danger of spending the night in a freezing cold car? Why endanger first responders?

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
JLeslie's avatar

I woud heed the warning if I were there. It is completely unfair to emergency workers and taxpayers to not heed them. During the worst of it emergency workers might not be allowed out and so there would be no help if you get stuck. If they are allowed out, you have now put others in danger. I don’t know how likely it would be in a snow storm for emergency workers to not be allowed out. During hurricanes that is definitely the case. Once winds are sustained at 40mph no emergency workers are allowed out and if you have a heart attack or your house falls in, too bad until the winds die down.

@Seek_Kolinahr Climate Change. :)

Coloma's avatar

I’m on the west coast in the Sierra Nevada mountain zone and I say Hell NO! We got missed by the snow predicted yesterday but I always go out ahead of the storms and put in supplies so I do not have to go out at all. Stay home, be safe, be warm, be cozy!

flutherother's avatar

It would be very irresponsible to drive. You are not just putting yourself in danger your vehicle could block roads for emergency vehicles. Being told not to drive is tantamount to saying you will get into difficulties and we are not going to help.

dxs's avatar

I don’t really have any reason to. I had to pick up a book at the library but I think it’s probably closed.

KNOWITALL's avatar

WHAT? That’s the best time to get out and play you Yanks- lol!!

All you need is a big truck, good tires, throw some chains in the back, good to go! (I’m just being silly, but we do that here in Missouri.)

Coloma's avatar

Okay…well…since you are all going to be at home I will lead you in a snowy day game.
Everyone describe the shoes they are wearing and I will choose a winner for ” The coolest Friday shoe” award. lol

Mama_Cakes's avatar

I’m pretty much drunk right now. I’m not driving anywhere.

HolographicUniverse's avatar

Umm I would heed the warning? Unless of course I had an emergency that took precedence over my safety. Why anyone would not abide by this order is beyond me.

wildpotato's avatar

Of course I will continue to drive. I cut my motoring eyeteeth on Colorado winters; this here’s a little baby storm. Nemo, cute. The dangerous part is the masses of idiotic Easterners who don’t know how to handle their shit in a little snow but go out anyway.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@wildpotato Here it’s rain & sleet, everybody’s out in snow playing. If it just rains the traffic goes about 10mph bluh.

jerv's avatar

One thing I learned growing up in New England is that when the weather is bad enough for the government to do such a thin,it’s some serious shit. They are not cautious like Seattle; any warning they give means something.

Glad I moved 4 years ago.

DominicX's avatar

You guys and your East Coast weather. ^_^ Forecast for here on the West Coast, for the next week, all sunny and all temperatures in the 60s :D Global warming for the win…

But I’ve always wondered what it must be like to be in a situation where there are weather warnings like this that prevent people from going out—I’ve never experienced that. Not that it sounds pleasant, but it does sound interesting in some odd way…either way, I couldn’t imagine not heeding the warning.

cookieman's avatar

I’m in Boston, and @jerv is completely correct. We go out in all sorts of weather. So if the Governor says stay off the roads, I’m taking him seriously.

All our jobs and schools were cancelled, food shopping’s done, cash in hand – I was planning on hunkering down for three days anyway.

SamandMax's avatar

Usually when warnings are given they are done so for very good reasons. I would have to think that it must be exceptionally mitigating circumstances that would warrant ignoring the warning in the first place with this one.

chyna's avatar

What a perfect excuse to stay home and watch movies or read a good book. I would stay home.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@chyna A good book is ok, but I prefer being snowed in with a bad girl.

But we are not getting the wind and snow until later in the weekend, so I will probably be cooking up some cornbread, split pea soup and molasses cookies.

Pachy's avatar

If I lived there, I would not. In that kind of weather nothing you could do in a car is worth risking your life. One winter day in Milwaukee I tried driving to work in what was by comparison a very minor snowstorm and vowed never again.

Pachy's avatar

@wildpotato, it’s not always an “idiotic Easterner” or any bad driver for that matter who causes an accident. Sometimes it’s a good driver who hets caught in a bad situation.
Me, I’d stay out of my car.

JLeslie's avatar

Easterner is a pretty large area of people. Colorado gets that very cold powdery snow. The southeast gets crap wet snow that as the day goes on into night and temperatures change it melts a little in the warmer afternoon and then freezes to sheet of ice. No one can drive in ice. The New Englanders certainly know how to drive in snow, give me a break. I grew up in NY ans MD, and no one I know personally ever had an accident because of snowy conditions.

jerv's avatar

@wildpotato New England doesn’t get that fluffy powder that you ski on. Sometimes it’s dry and fluffy to where any car could plow right through, more often it’s a wetter, heavier mix that causes snowplows to strain their drivetrains a bit despite being only half the depth, and that freezes into ice sheets.

Leave the ski slopes and go somewhere where there is real snow, and you’ll see that sometimes it’s not really worth it. This coming from somebody who has been known to pass snowplows and used to live on a rural NH road that wasn’t maintained. As I said, if it makes New Englanders nervous, it’s serious.

Now, if you want to see people lose their shit in the snow, look at Seattle. 3 inches and they shut down the city and people called it “Snowpocalypse”. As I had just arrived after spending my final week in NH with no power (thus, no heat or running water) as a result of a massive ice storm that mobilized the National Guard, I had the same derisive attitude. The difference being, unlike you, I’ve actually seen all sorts of winter weather, not just powder.

chyna's avatar

Of course this ban doesn’t seem to include the news reporters.~

jerv's avatar

@chyna No; they are completely expendable.

cookieman's avatar

@jerv: Ha! I do think that when you see one of them precariously perched on a retaining wall on Cape Cod. Waves crashing behind them, gale-force winds. At any moment I expect them to get sucked into the ocean.

jonsblond's avatar

Of course I would heed the warning. We had a surprise blizzard in December that left our roads impassable for two full days. Our morning forecast was only calling for a winter weather advisory, with only 1–2 inches of snow. Everyone went off to work and school with no worries. By 11am the weather turned nasty with blizzard conditions. No one was expecting this turn of events for us. My daughter’s school called and said they would be letting the kids out early. I went outside to see how bad it was because I knew I had to walk over 500 ft to the end of our drive to meet my daughter when the bus arrived. I could barely stand in the wind and I couldn’t see ahead of me because snow was blowing in my face. I didn’t know how I was going to get my daughter.

Shortly after that the school called and said the buses would not be running and children were to be picked up immediately. Luckily my husband’s work is only 2 miles from the school. He picked her up and slowly drove the two miles to our house. He saw at least 6 cars in the ditch on the small 2 mile stretch of highway. This storm left over 100 cars on our local roads overnight with their occupants being rescued by local farmers on their tractors and snowmobiles, then taken to churches in the area. Several children and teachers also had to spend the evening in their school.

The east coast had warning for this storm. Anyone driving in this type of weather with advance warning is stupid.

wildpotato's avatar

@jerv Gee, thanks for the tips. I’ll remember that Colorado doesn’t get tons of melts and refreezes the next time I hit a black ice sheet and spin out doing 70 on I-25 at night. Good thing Coloradoans aren’t like, experienced in how to drive carefully but confidently in icy conditions, so I wasn’t killed by some asshole following way too close. How randomly lucky for me that I just happened to get someone who must have been a transplanted New Englander driving behind me, who not only had enough time to slow before he hit the patch, but actually slowed way down and put on his flashers to warn cars behind (who were also following at safe distances) not to kill us both, while I, poor single-snow-type Coloradoan, foolishly steered into my turn and yet somehow mysteriously managed to regain control of my vehicle. Probably had nothing at all to do with my (and my fellow drivers’) extremely extensive experience driving in snow and ice.

Do I really need the tilde?

That said, you are right that I was being overly dismissive of the snowfall around here, especially in the state in question, MA, or in the one you mentioned, NH. Though those results don’t, of course, compare to certain places in CO (Crested Butte is like a magical frosted town, with snow up above the eaves of the houses for much of the year), I must admit that New England does generally get more snow than the areas I hung out in, Denver and Colorado Springs. Too bad the mountains here suck.

Also, no need for the unwarranted assumption about where I haven’t lived, friend-o. Or I guess you might conceivably know, but that’d be super creepy and you should probably stop stalking me now :oP

jerv's avatar

@wildpotato It’s all in the presentation. When you come across as a dick, you will be called out. If you don’t want people to take shots at you, don’t paint a huge bullseye on your chest!

wildpotato's avatar

@jerv Not at all; this site loves dick(ishness) as long as folks agree with the expressed sentiment. I’ve always been bemused, and slightly saddened, that this is my answer with the most GAs.

glacial's avatar

@jonsblond Your story reminds me of The Long Winter, by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

jerv's avatar

@wildpotato Welcome to the Internet.

blueiiznh's avatar

@wildpotato when you have about 40 million people in the path of a storm you will find plenty of dicks that go out in it. There really is no comparison of the impact a snow storm does out west versus the northeast. It is a simple matter of population density and impacting what people do day to day.

wildpotato's avatar

@blueiiznh Good point; I hadn’t considered that factor. I was wondering why the stupid seems so much thicker around here than out west, given the charts I linked to. Duh, it’s cause everything’s thicker around here.

However, I stand by my point that it’s idiotic to characterize Colorado snow as all powder, or the driving there as easier because much of it is powder. There’s a reason for the “300 days of sunshine” motto, and the inches melted off by nightfall only about half of the time, as I recall. Other half, driving was pretty slick – again, where I lived on the Front Range.

jerv's avatar

@wildpotato No moreso than characterizing most New Englanders as idiots. Either I am right, or you are wrong; you are not special enough to legitimize a double standard.

wildpotato's avatar

@jerv I am unclear on what the one has to do with the other. Also, you are misrepresenting the claim I made. “Masses of idiotic Easterners” ≠ “characterizing most New Englanders as idiots”. As blue pointed out, the large amount and concentration of Easterners ensures that for any given activity in the area, masses of idiots will participate.

cookieman's avatar

^^ As a New Englander, and by default, an “Easterner”, I find this back n’ forth fascinating.

glacial's avatar

@wildpotato It may not have been your intent to characterize all New Englanders as idiots, but that’s how I read your comment as well.

jonsblond's avatar

There’s a big difference between a snow storm and a blizzard. The most experienced driver is not going to get far in a blizzard. This is why snowmobiles are brought out to help with stranded drivers. A truck or car is not going to make it in these conditions, even if the driver is from the mountains of Colorado. just sayin’ :)

wildpotato's avatar

@glacial Fair enough; I can see how my statement could be read in such a defensive way. I suppose my training in close reading and predicate logic makes me forget sometimes that remarks that seem clear enough to me can be obscure to others.

@jonsblond No argument. My minivan certainly wouldn’t get very far. However, I think there is quite a lot to be said for varying levels of driver skill excepting the periods when it would be suicidal for anyone without a plow attachment to go out. My contentions in this thread have been
A) that Nemo did not constitute such a storm in my area, which I am counting as Northern NJ and NYC, not LI or Mass. If we go Tri-state area, for sure there were some temporarily undriveable spots, and certainly up north. But people were freaking out around here like they thought the damn sky was falling because the news has no actual news to report so they hype the storm, and they do it every freaking time we get even an inch around here. It’s maddening.
And B) That it is ridiculous to claim that the snow Coloradoans ski on is the same as what we drive in, and then to try to extrapolate something about driving skill from said false claim. I am not saying that being from Colorado makes me invincible to weather. Though that would be a fantastic superpower :)

glacial's avatar

@wildpotato I don’t think read the comment in a particularly “defensive way”, not being a New Englander. I just read it.

And, um, thanks for implying that I don’t use logic when I read. Hard to imagine why anyone could think your remarks offensive.

wildpotato's avatar

@glacial I wrote predicate logic for a reason: I think it’s easier, after having studied it formally, to dissect sentences into their symbolic forms and thus to understand what they can and cannot be shown to logically imply. I meant it when I said that there’s no reason I should expect most people to look at my initial post and immediately see an type statement there, or to then intuit that ∃(x) ¬ . there’s supposed to be a (x) after the ∀ but it won’t come out due to link formatting I’d be surprised if you used that sort of logic when you read, yes, especially given the evidence we possess that you have not drawn on it in this case. But I also mentioned close reading because I think it’s pretty easy, even without drawing on such a background, to go back and read and notice the fact that you cannot show that the claim you purport to see is embedded in my statement. As to my attribution of defensiveness to your reading, apologies – I should not speculate about the motivations behind sloppy reading and illogical thinking. I probably shouldn’t even point out that it doesn’t make much sense to claim that one must be part of a group to be defensive of it. As to your final sentence, I see it as yet another bit of clumsy debate. The initial post was obviously meant to be offensive. I do not, and have not been arguing that point, but only that the offensive remark is not directed at (to use jerv’s word) most Easterners. Again, probably shouldn’t mention that I didn’t actually write “New Englanders”, but “Easterners”. Yes, I realize the former group is included in the latter. However, it remains a relevant distinction because I was not implicating New Englanders in particular, as several above posts seem to claim – and also because it furthers my point about not reading my remark attentively.

blueiiznh's avatar

@wildpotato just for the record, don’t try to pull me in your corner. My statement was based in statistic that there will always be a jerk that doesn’t heed the warnings because they think they can drive in it. This has nothing to do with where you live. I asked a simple innocent question and it seemingly turned into some religious east coast/west coast debate. Seriously, there are plenty of drivers with different skills. This does not make them idiots.

Prayers also go out to the families of the 8 deaths during this weather event.

Seek's avatar

For the record, @wildpotato, I’m picking up what you’re putting down.

jerv's avatar

@wildpotato So long as you realize/acknowledge how your statement could be misconstrued as @glacial and I (and probably others) did, I am satisfied. It was not obvious at first whether you intended offense, but your later posts imply that you did not.
As for Easterners vs. New Englanders, as you get much further South than New York, people are less used to snow and thus often never acquire the sort of driving skills required to handle a good blizzard, including knowing when it just isn’t worth leaving the house; there is a huge difference between a Vermonter and a Carolinian in that regard despite both being Easterners.
FYI, I spent most of my life a fair bit North of you, Southern VT/NH where a lot of these storms seem to like hitting. It always amazed me how much clearer things usually were when I went South into MA.

@blueiiznh Yes, a certain percentage of any population are idiots, and simple math (percentage times population) dictates that more people means more idiots.

@jonsblond I had coworkers at my last job who often ditched their cars and commuted by snowmobile.

JLeslie's avatar

The problem I have found in the south is they think they need big SUV’s and trucks to drive through the snow safely. The snow has never been more than 6 inches deep, and is rarely that deep, usully it is just a couple of inches on the roadway. What they don’t seem to understand is it isn’t the driving it is the stopping! I tell them, you have to drive assuming you have no brakes. That’s why when I lived in NC there were 70 accidents literally one icy, snowy morning. And, why one morning when I drove with my friend from Memphis to Little Rock there were a bazaar amount of cars that had obviously skidded off the road and were abandoned. If you are including them as easterners that just is not fair. And, just from the southeast to the northeast the snow and cold is different. The warmer climate makes the whole ordeal much worse, and many in the south don’t have snow tires.

cookieman's avatar

@JLeslie: Exactly. I had a Honda Civic for ten years and got through our New England Winters just fine. Took it up to the white mountains a few times too.

It’s really about how you drive in the snow, not really what you drive. Not that 4-wheel drive is a bad thing, but it won’t solve all your driving problems.

JLeslie's avatar

@cookieman Yeah, I don’t remember one accident when I lived in MI for college. I would guess there were some on and near campus, but no one I knew, and I never heard about any. Most of us had small oldish cars, and that was back in the late 80’s.

jerv's avatar

Best winter car I ever had was my ‘87 Corolla. Perfectly controllable even on ice. Not enough weight to go skidding sideways unless you were going way too fast, perfect balance so it neither understeered nor oversteered… better than anything newer or heavier that I have driven since.

wildpotato's avatar

@blueiiznh Noted. Just for the record: 1) in the English-speaking world responding “Exactly” tends to indicate agreement with the statement you are responding to, and 2) Colorado is not on the West Coast.

jerv's avatar

@wildpotato And thus where colloquial and literal speech conflict.

wildpotato's avatar

@jerv Where? the West coast?

JLeslie's avatar

I’m confused too. Exactly does mean agreement in my book, and Colorado is not west coast it is west. West coast is Oregon, California and Washington only.

jonsblond's avatar

@wildpotato & @JLeslie Come on now. I think the two of you are nitpicking with this west coast thing. I’m sure @blueiiznh knows where Colorado is located. Colorado is not on the coast, but it is part of the western half of the United States. I’m sure that’s what he meant by “east coast/west coast debate.”

JLeslie's avatar

@jonsblond When I mentioned TN I was sure to say not sure if we want to count that in with easterners, because it is not an east coast state, but it is east of the Mississippi which often people use as a divider. Some people lump Michigan in as east, which is odd to me since it is a midwestern state, but it is physically more east than west in the country.

East and west is not the same as east coast west coast. But, it isn’t that I am trying to get over technical, just making sure we are all on the same page.

jonsblond's avatar

@JLeslie I understand why you want to be specific when referring to different regions of the country. I am amazed by the number of citizens in the U.S. who are ignorant with the geography of their own country. Geography is my favorite subject. I can sit and study maps for hours. I worked as a travel agent. I know my country very well because I’ve studied it and have traveled across much of the U.S. I would be the first person to nitpick @blueiiznh‘s response, but I know he is an intelligent man, and I don’t think he needs a geography lesson. It’s just a little pet peeve of mine when some here get nit picky about how something is said when the meaning of the statement is obviously clear. Do you honestly think @blueiiznh thinks Colorado borders the Pacific ocean?

wildpotato's avatar

@jonsblond Though I am still genuinely confused by his use of the word “exactly,” you are correct that I didn’t write the second part of my response to blue because I believe he thinks Colorado is on the West coast. I mentioned it because I wanted to make it clear that I only discussed Colorado and the East coast, and never brought up the West coast at all – that was jerv. I have no experience with the bad weather out there, except for one dreary week in Portland. I know it gets worse than rain out there, but I’m pretty sure the West coast doesn’t compare to the West snow-wise, so I thought it was relevant in the context of this discussion.

jerv's avatar

I didn’t bring up the West Coast; re-read and you will see that this post is the first time I have used the word “coast” at all in this thread. And no, I haven’t seen any snow in Seattle that comes even close to what usually gets dumped on New England. It rarely gets cold enough to even bother with snowmakers for skiing. If you want snow in WA, you have to go inland to higher elevations.

wildpotato's avatar

Now that seems nitpicky to me; saying you didn’t bring up the West Coast earlier – you talked about Seattle. Are we not counting Seattle as the West Coast? I figured that that mention of yours must have been where blue got it in his head that someone was discussing the coast, in distinction from the West. I am probably mistaken; I bet jonsblond is correct that he was just lumping them together as part of a West/East dichotomy despite the large differences in winter weather between Colorado and Washington.

JLeslie's avatar

@jonsblond I’m with you. I am not even sure now exactly what response it is and what was said. I was just picking up on agreeing if someone says west coast I do not think Colorado. If I were in a conversation I would just clarify. People here in TN call people from MI and WI “northerners” or “from the north,” I would never do that. But, I don’t dispute they are from the northern part of our country. I assume they do it from the whole North v. South thing back in the day. I divide the country up more into to Northeast, mid atlantic, southern, midwest, west, west coast. I can add in Pacific Northwest, upper midwest, and even separate out New Englanders at times, but usually not. Anyway, I clarify all the time when someone uses north here, because to me Kalamazoo, MI can be very different than New York City, depending on what the subject is at hand.

blueiiznh's avatar

@wildpotato just to clarify my responses as opposed to all the assumptions you are extrapolating out of my statement, I will paraphrase what i meant in my retort of “exactly”. Exactly that there are idiots that will go out and drive in it when they think they can handle driving in anything.

wildpotato's avatar

@blueiiznh No assumption was necessary; it was a straightforward deduction based on solid evidence. As I remarked, it is a convention in the English-speaking world that as a standalone response, “exactly” indicates an affirmative position with regards to the content of the statement being responded to. It does not generally stand as a retort, outside of middle school “whyareyouhittingyourself” arguments. If you do not want to be misunderstood, perhaps you ought to write more clearly.

To me, being able to handle driving in 8–12” (the fall amount in the area I drive, which was what appeared to me to be the subject of your query) of snow does not equal being able to “handle driving in anything.” If it does for you, then you are absolutely correct that you’re one of the people who should definitely stay off the roads even in such a small amount of snow. You are to be commended for knowing your limits.

chyna's avatar

@wildpotato I was very clear on what @blueiiznh meant when he said exactly.

jerv's avatar

Don’t feed the trolls.

Later, all; I’m out.

blueiiznh's avatar

Snow Angel Time!!!

Ela's avatar

I’ve been driving in snow and ice all my life… I still wouldn’t go out even if it was not banned unless I absolutely had to.
I’d try to get everything done (shopping, gas, ect) before the storm then sit back and watch that bad boy roll in.

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