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It’s Not The Roads, It’s The Drivers

It’s snowing in Seattle.

Now, in other parts of the world “it’s snowing” might just be a statement about the weather, but here in the greater Seattle area the words carry the weight of an emergency klaxon. Snow … SNOW … SNOOOOOWWWWW!

Now, to be fair, the snowstorm we’re having today DOES seem to be of the kind only infrequently seen here. Measuring by the view out my window, it’s deposited at least 3 inches of snow in the past 10 hours. Reports indicate that a few parts of the area may have gotten as much as 6 inches so far. That’s a lot for a town that sometimes doesn’t see 6 inches of snow in a whole winter.

That having been said, anyone who has lived in just about any other city at this latitude would have a hearty laugh at the idea of a half-foot of snow bringing the town to a standstill. And the idea that it wasn’t safe to go out in such conditions would be unthinkable. Yet, here I sit in my apartment, adamant about the fact that (barring emergencies) I’m not going out on the roads until at least tomorrow.

Why? Have I lost my winter weather driving skills? Have I forgotten the rules for getting around in snow and ice?

No, of course not. But I’ve learned one ADDITIONAL thing: The drivers in the Seattle area have no idea that such rules or skills exist! In fact, they seem to have been taught the most dangerous winter driving habits, and they seem to believe that their SUVs make it imperative that they drive as recklessly as possible. To be clear, the SAFEST thing to do when even a MODERATE amount of snow falls in this area is to stay the hell off the road … because THAT’S where the crazy people will be!

So I sit at home, though I know that the roads are probably in pretty passable condition. I’ve got food and drinks, an Internet connection, remote access to my office email, and enough work to keep me busy through the day. And this is where I plan to stay for the whole of the day … and maybe even tomorrow morning, depending on how quickly the storm passes and the projected warming trend arrives.

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