Thursday, February 2, 2023

Ice Storms

I was watching the weather channels with a focus on the ice storms in the south central part of the country. My in-laws are in that area but right on the fringe of the storms. We haven’t heard from them so I’m hoping no news is good news. 

In my travels I’ve run into southern ice storms. My approach is to take the first exit that leads to a hotel. I learned to drive in snow country. There were times I drove through through raging blizzards. However, I won’t drive in ice storms. It doesn’t matter if you have a giant truck with four wheel drive. When the wheels hit the ice there’s nothing that will help. 

With the exception of studded tires. New Hampshire is one of the few states that does not regulate or ban their use. I’ve used them in the past, but only because I was given studded snow tires for free. They help but they aren’t magic. In fact, they only encourage you to drive when you shouldn’t Even if you have traction, nobody else does. Bumper cars with real cars is no fun.

When there’s an ice storm it’s a real pleasure to be able to stay home. Back when I was a firefighter I knew I’d end up driving the fire truck on ice to get to accidents. It’s pretty freaky to be sliding sideways down a hill with a fully loaded pumper with crew. I never crashed, but sometimes it was more luck than skill. 

If you get caught in an ice storm get off the road. Don’t be the reason first responders have to go out in dangerous conditions.



  1. I've had some pretty close calls on ice myself. I've stopped driving during an ice storms preferring to practice the art of patience in leu of spontaneous collision syndrome. 80)

  2. I've had a fire truck sideways down a hill. Not just freaky but downright scary. And that's from someone who willingly heads toward fire.
    Just last night, I drove through a heavy rain storm - no ice, but so much water on the road that I aquaplaned 30-40% of the journey. Hilux (Tacoma for y'all in US) skipping all over the place, I took an extra hour on a normally 2 hour trip.

    1. Not the worse scare I had driving a fire truck but it made the top five.
      I often drive through the White Mountains and the weather can get down right freaky.

      One of the scary things about heavy rain is that the road can wash out and you don't see it's gone.