PDA

View Full Version : Setting off into snowy conditions


anchorhold
2nd Mar 2018, 09:19
I know as pilots we alway anticpate the weather before a journey, but what is it about car and truck drivers, not only setting off into red alert weather, but also in ambert alert conditions completly ill equipped.

What really made me laugh was a driver being interveiwed yesterday lunchtime having been stuck in Scotland overnight his intention was to travel onto Exeter, what was he thinking. Why is it people think they will always make it through?

How difficult is it to carry water and food for twenty four hours, A shovel, boots, a sleeing bag, warm jacket, torch, inverter, mobile charger, etc.. Yet these people cause an awful lot of inconvenience to others.

It is interesting though, if you run out of fuel on the motorway, you can be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention, so why not apply to same to people ill equipped and pressing on into adverse conditions and what is the insurers take on this.

It is interesting that the Scandavians and Canadians think Britain is a complete joke when it snows. I also wonder why haulage companies do not have realistic expectations and thier transport managers are not monitoring the weather and advising their drivers accordingly.

Mostly Harmless
2nd Mar 2018, 09:32
Inexperience.
No training.
Repeated success breeds complacency.

If you deal with snow in winter ever year you understand that the world slows down when the weather is bad.

Saintsman
2nd Mar 2018, 09:38
A shovel, boots, a sleeping bag, warm jacket, torch, inverter, mobile charger, etc..


I took these on my last journey.

Mind you, I did get some funny looks from the other people on the bus...

TWT
2nd Mar 2018, 09:42
Saintsman, that's good :)

Many people don't even keep some bottled water in the car.

Break down on the side of the road in summer or get stuck in a traffic jam because of an accident for a few hours and you'll wish you did have water !

anchorhold
2nd Mar 2018, 09:49
TWT... I recal this happening on a very hot day, some guy was thretening to jump off a bridge, ten mile tailback for six hours, in the end the police had step in with free bottled water at the tax payers expence.

treadigraph
2nd Mar 2018, 09:52
Is anyone else finding the m18 thread on roughly this subject isn't working properly? I've seen a number of people add to the post tally but I can't get to page 2.

Andy_S
2nd Mar 2018, 10:22
How difficult is it to carry water and food for twenty four hours, A shovel, boots, a sleeing bag, warm jacket, torch, inverter, mobile charger, etc..

In all honesty, if you feel you need to pack the above before leaving home, you should ask yourself if your journey is really necessary in the first place.

spekesoftly
2nd Mar 2018, 10:29
Is anyone else finding the m18 thread on roughly this subject isn't working properly? I've seen a number of people add to the post tally but I can't get to page 2.

I can't see a problem with the M18 thread, and I can access page 2. Last post when I checked was #32 timed at 08:33 today.

Pontius Navigator
2nd Mar 2018, 10:30
TWT... I recal this happening on a very hot day, some guy was thretening to jump off a bridge, ten mile tailback for six hours.That reminds me.
Many years ago, when Lincoln had a footbridge over the High Street, the train was delayed as a woman sat on the edge threatening to throw herself off under the train. Police cordoned of the area, passengers all losses off. Then a suited figure approached the cordon, went through, up the bridge to the woman. Police thought he was a negotiator. He asked her what she was doing and told her to get down or jump. She dithered, he pushed her.

So much for negotiation skills of a Parachute Regt SNCO.

Pontius Navigator
2nd Mar 2018, 10:32
Anchorhold, OTOH I have seen the cars that some highly professional pilots drive. They could have been discards from renta wreck.

Pontius Navigator
2nd Mar 2018, 10:44
In all honesty, if you feel you need to pack the above before leaving home, you should ask yourself if your journey is really necessary in the first place.

Andy, that is true for the unprepared, properly you should winterise your kit at the onset of winter, not on the day, in case there is a change in the weather.

spekesoftly
2nd Mar 2018, 10:44
I took these on my last journey.

Mind you, I did get some funny looks from the other people on the bus...

That reminds me of a friend who was flying from Aberdeen to Gatwick, with a wooden toboggan as hand luggage, which he had bought as a present for his young sons. On boarding the aircraft he got some quizzical looks from the cabin crew, to which he responded with "Well you never know where you may end up with *Dan Air!"


* Yes it was a long time ago, and to put in context Dan Air had been experiencing more diversions than normal.

PDR1
2nd Mar 2018, 11:01
Inexperience.
No training.
Repeated success breeds complacency.

If you deal with snow in winter ever year you understand that the world slows down when the weather is bad.


Fair enough. But if you live in the south of england where dangerously bad weather happens for a couple of days maybe once every ten years how would you suggest the experience is gained, and where do you suggest they get the training.

Mind you, it seems there is no lack of experience in heckling and jeering at the suffering of others. Is there a special course for this or is it just learned on-the-job?

PDR

SMT Member
2nd Mar 2018, 11:16
Fair enough. But if you live in the south of england where dangerously bad weather happens for a couple of days maybe once every ten years how would you suggest the experience is gained, and where do you suggest they get the training.
PDR

I would suggest applying a large dose of self-appreciation, ending in the obvious result 'I'm not trained, equipped or suited for this, therefore I won't be driving today'.

UniFoxOs
2nd Mar 2018, 11:19
Andy, that is true for the unprepared, properly you should winterise your kit at the onset of winter, not on the day, in case there is a change in the weather.

Correct. As an engineer on 24hour standby forty years ago I used to do this every winter - shovel, gallon of water, OXO cubes, spirit stove, meths, kettle, boots and sleeping bag - and always keep the petrol tank well full.

DaveReidUK
2nd Mar 2018, 11:23
Many years ago, when Lincoln had a footbridge over the High Street, the train was delayed as a woman sat on the edge threatening to throw herself off under the train.

That tends to be a problem when you have trains running along a High Street.

PDR1
2nd Mar 2018, 11:24
I would suggest applying a large dose of self-appreciation, ending in the obvious result 'I'm not trained, equipped or suited for this, therefore I won't be driving today'.

But without the experience or training it may not be possible to appreciate what conditions you are not trained or equipped for (a variation on the dunning-kruger concept).

It's similar to the number of inadvertent IMC incidents by non-IR pilots in non-IMC aircraft on over 80% of the cases I've heard reported the offender simply said "I didn't realise I was heading into something I couldn't handle until I was in the situation I couldn't handle".

PDR

RAT 5
2nd Mar 2018, 11:56
I've met drivers who've never had a crash in 40 years; never a claim. They still have insurance for that one bad unforeseen day that might leap out of the dark.

There are many places on the continent that have rare snow flurries, but when they come they cause chaos. So, as an insurance, the locals kit up for that one bad day that might leap out of the dark. If it doesn't happen they don't moan. It's just what you do. If it does happen you can thumb your nose at the numpties who are stranded; unless they are in front of you and blocking your path, in which case the reaction might be less cordial.

I guess there will be many of us who will have to agree to disagree.

But a mate of mine in Glos' had great fun a few winters ago. He approached a hill that was clogged up with stranded traffic, including 4x4. The police stopped him and asked him to retreat. He was in a winter tyre shod front wheel drive, explained it to plod, and romped his way up the hill, past all the flash 4x4's etc. Smugness was never better demonstrated with a grin on his face.

It's similar to the number of inadvertent IMC incidents by non-IR pilots in non-IMC aircraft on over 80% of the cases I've heard reported the offender simply said "I didn't realise I was heading into something I couldn't handle until I was in the situation I couldn't handle".

Ain't that the truth.

Pontius Navigator
2nd Mar 2018, 12:01
But without the experience or training it may not be possible to appreciate what conditions you are not trained or equipped forR
That's difficult?

Have I driven on a motorway before? No. I will look at the rules and drive cautiously.
Have I driven in rain? Yes. No problem.
Have I driven on ice? No. How will that affect me?
Have I driven in snow? No. Etc

Not rocket science but certainly open to optimism!

charliegolf
2nd Mar 2018, 12:05
I have a sleeping bag in my boot the whole year round. Mainly cos the old fashioned sleepover ones with a zip along 2 sides is the best boot protector I have ever had. I pop a shovel in when it looks grim.

Dan Gerous
2nd Mar 2018, 12:29
Had to laugh at the poor souls trapped overnight, on the news this morning, complaining there was no information available. This from a generation who seem to have a screen permanently attached to their faces. This weather event was forecast days ago with plenty of warning. They even had the benefit of seeing the "carnage " on the M8 in Scotland, the previous day or two, showing the conditions heading their way.

Blues&twos
2nd Mar 2018, 12:47
Do you drive for a living Dan?

anchorhold
2nd Mar 2018, 13:12
Having gained my driving licence in the eighties I gained lots of experience in driving in snow and ice, I really wonder if those who have qualified in the last two decades have had less exposure to driving in snow and ice.

However, those of use who are older in terms of non aviation forecast are subject are subject to the 'Fish Effect' in which TV weather girls (and men) and the Daily Mail always err on the side of caution, so they make things sound worse than they might be. Quite why weather presenters can not apply the TAF 'prob 30' system. My other annoyance is the laclk of symnoptic charts in newspapers and the crap termonology such as 'muggy' or a 'rash' of showers. There lack of knowledge of met, clearly they do not know what humid or rash means. In the old day weather presenters such as Michael Fish and John Ketly were met office employees. nw we have 'eye candy' who probably could not be described as 'eye candy'.

Now onto the patronising advice, BBC radio four, the today programme had someone from the British Antartic Survey advising, meanwhile one disctrict council, I think it was in Wales, were advising to best way to avoiding slip was to walk like a penguin, no wonder the Canadians and Scandanavions are laughing at the British.

I addition to walking like a penguin the current advice is:

Look ahead when your walk;
Walk in someone else’s footsteps;
Always wait to cross at pedestrian crossings;
Don’t impede your vision with hoods and scarves and keep your hands out of your pockets;
Remember the most dangerous areas can be the doorstep outside your front door or the slippery path as you get out of the car;
If you feel yourself slipping backwards tuck your head forward, chin to chest;
If you fall to the side, allow your forearm to make contact with the ground first rather than your wrist.

SMT Member
2nd Mar 2018, 13:15
When I was a young sprog and we had decent winters, my dad would take me in the family car to a suitably big, obstacle free, parking lot. There he'd hand be the wheel and ask me to skid about a bit, accellerate and brake hard. That lesson took roughly a minute to learn; easy and slowly does it. I've never forgotten his second lesson: treat the accellerator and brakes as if there's a rotten egg between your foot and the pedals.

The second lesson was in the advantage of winter tyres. One year he was late changing the boots on the car, and took the oppertunity to take me to a snow covered parking lot with the winter tyres in the back. I slid, slid and slid some more, finding it exceedingly hard to find and maintain traction at damn near any speed. We then changed to winter shoes, and it was a world of difference.

Those three lessons (slow and easy does it, egg between foot and pedals & winter tyres) have stayed with me ever since, and even in high torque/power RWD cars (e.g. BMW 530d or Jag XJ) I've never had a problem, accident or incident.

anchorhold
2nd Mar 2018, 13:22
SMT Member, good advice I have done this with my son, my daughter will be next, with exception of the rotten egg approach which I really like.

treadigraph
2nd Mar 2018, 13:51
I can't see a problem with the M18 thread, and I can access page 2. Last post when I checked was #32 timed at 08:33 today.

Thanks spekesoftly, cleared browsing data and it's working now. Thread must have frozen in some way, hardly surprising given the weather! ;)

DType
2nd Mar 2018, 14:17
Anchor
"Walk in someone else’s footsteps"
A few years ago (!) I took a young lad up a snow/ice climb, and let him go first to kick the steps. He was soon exhausted, whilst I sauntered up behind. Finding me close on his heels, he exclaimed, "Gosh, you must be so fit!"
No, just older and wiser.

Pontius Navigator
2nd Mar 2018, 14:54
If you feel yourself slipping backwards tuck your head forward, chin to chest.
The last cold snap, was out 6 years ago? I was on hard compact snow. There was no sensation of slipping backwards. One moment I was walking, next I was flat on my back, no transition. I just lay there, don't know if I had been unconscious, just ran a few BIT and got up. What saved my head was my hat.

treadigraph
2nd Mar 2018, 15:08
One lovely January morning I went over backwards on unseen frost in the shadow of a wall. Apparently my legs shot in the air, I landed on my rucksack -
think back of my head may have hit the ground. Happened so quickly...

Felt ok, had a few beers on the walk (first stage Thames Path).

Got home and rang my mum, asking her to call me in the morning to check I was OK, thinking of Natasha Richardson. She didn't, one of my walking mates did! When I asked her later she said "Oh I knew you'd be OK!"

Windy Militant
2nd Mar 2018, 15:42
The Question you have to ask yourself when setting off into the snow is what would Titus Oates do! :uhoh:

MG23
2nd Mar 2018, 16:43
The one time I got stuck in the snow over here was the time I realized I'd left the shovel in the garage. But I don't think it would have mattered, because I'd have to have dug down a couple of feet to reach solid ground (I'd tried to park on what looked like solid ground but actually turned out to be a ditch full of snow).

And I got to call out CAA for the second time in five years of membership.

Which reminds me, I should make sure the shovel is in there tonight as the forecast is a foot of snow over the weekend.

RatherBeFlying
2nd Mar 2018, 16:56
Ran up to Calgary and back to Lethbridge yesterday. The snowfall alert was and is out. There's a handy Android weather app where you can check hourly temp, precipitation and wind forecasts for just about any location. Just like pulling up TAFs:E

Decided to head back well before nasty stuff forecast to hit.

Yes, there's always sleeping bag, shovel and extra clothing in the back and winter tires.

That said, the first principle of driving in nasty weather is that if the guy coming the other way loses it, it doesn't matter that you can handle the weather:uhoh:

I have sometimes chosen to take a longer route to stay on a divided road instead of a shorter way on a two lane. But there's a bigger chance of getting caught in a big jam.

Fortunately there's access to the range roads provided you can handle the drifts.

Freshly fallen snow before it's been driven over is reasonable. But drifts of older snow can get you high centered. That's what the shovel is for, but progress will be slow if you have to do it every few hundred yards; so reversing course may be called for.

The road closures out here are mostly for wind driven snow. These folks got trapped in parking lots:

https://globalnews.ca/news/4045644/southern-alberta-highways-reopened-after-winter-weather-forced-closure-friday/

G-CPTN
2nd Mar 2018, 17:05
The road closures out here are mostly for wind driven snow.

Exactly what has happened with the A1 in Northumberland.
Trouble started yesterday morning and it is still blocked as the snow continues to blow in as soon as they clear it along the 30 mile section.

MG23
2nd Mar 2018, 17:05
That said, the first principle of driving in nasty weather is that if the guy coming the other way loses it, it doesn't matter that you can handle the weather:uhoh:

Yes. The main reason I avoid travel on snowy days if I can is not because I think I'll get stuck, but because I know other people won't be able to stop.

Pontius Navigator
2nd Mar 2018, 17:06
MG23, delightful story on TV this AM. Chap, very well equipped had been put up for the night by a good Samaritan. Went ouyt thiud morning, couldn't get at his shovel as his boot was frozen shut.

Must remember to get my scraper, shovel and deicer out of the car.

TURIN
2nd Mar 2018, 17:21
Originally Posted by RatherBeFlying View Post
That said, the first principle of driving in nasty weather is that if the guy coming the other way loses it, it doesn't matter that you can handle the weather

Unless Charmaine is driving of course.

Near-miss bus driver: 'My training kicked in' - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-43255368):D:D

Mostly Harmless
2nd Mar 2018, 18:05
Fair enough. But if you live in the south of england where dangerously bad weather happens for a couple of days maybe once every ten years how would you suggest the experience is gained, and where do you suggest they get the training.

Mind you, it seems there is no lack of experience in heckling and jeering at the suffering of others. Is there a special course for this or is it just learned on-the-job?

PDR

I was just answering the Op's question on what would make people travel in weather above their limits. Training could be as easy as making some of these issues questions on the written exam for the licence. A few "how would you deal with a situation like this..." questions by the driver trainers... just to get the thought processes moving on things one had not considered.

Honestly, to answer your question, I say trust your gut. If you have a nagging, uncomfortable feeling about going on the trip, listen to that feeling and stay where you are until your frontal lobes catch up with the rest of your brain and can put a reason to why you are feeling that way. It took me a long time to learn to listen to my "spidey senses" rather than override them. I find they are right 100% of the time even when I can't tell you why until days or weeks later.

G-CPTN
2nd Mar 2018, 18:26
Nearly 40 years ago I was working in South Bedfordshire and living in North Bedfordshire when it started to snow during the day.
My wife phoned and suggested that I should return home as one of the two roads into our village had become blocked by a double decker bus that had slid sideways across the road and the snow was threatening to block the other road.
On the way (in a blizzard) I turned off a major road only to come to a sudden stop embedded in a 4 foot snowdrift (the snow was level across the road at the height of the hedges on either side). I reversed back onto the major road and took a different route, bypassing the police roadblock a mile from my village, and was on the last half mile when I lost awareness of where the road was across the unfenced field and ended up bogged down in the field.
I set off on foot and became disorientated, falling into deep drifts in ditches, losing body heat due to the howling blizzard.
I did eventually reach the streets of the village, but I reflected how close I had come to being 'lost' in both the geographic sense and also in the vital signs sense.
I couldn't believe how such a short distance could become a major challenge for survival.

There was never going to be anyone else attempting that route (which was impassible for vehicles) and was not the main route into the village.
We were snowed in for three days until we eventually organised a sledge party to trudge to the next village for supplies.

ShyTorque
2nd Mar 2018, 20:48
MG23, delightful story on TV this AM. Chap, very well equipped had been put up for the night by a good Samaritan. Went ouyt thiud morning, couldn't get at his shovel as his boot was frozen shut.

Must remember to get my scraper, shovel and deicer out of the car.

I wipe silicone spray on the boot and door seals to keep my car doors and boot lid free from sticking. Did it again about three days ago; it makes a world of difference. Sprayed on the blade of the shovel it stops snow sticking, too. Used mine this morning to clear the drive of snow and of the rubbish that came in stuck to my car from the local roads.

RatherBeFlying
2nd Mar 2018, 21:06
I was driving my son to work when the roads were covered by compacted snow in the town's 50 km/h zone. We were headed down hill when a lady coming the other way stopped before attempting a left turn on the upgrade. Much like the target offered to Charmaine, she stopped in her oncoming lane when her wheels spun:eek:

The lady ahead of me smacked her smartly and caroomed across the intersecting road into the ditch.

I was most grateful that my winter tires stopped me in time - and that nobody hit me from behind. It does help to maintain a safe following distance;)

In both cases the driver would have been much better off driving the car off the road into the ditch or shoulder.

Much better to pay for a tow truck to pull the car out, likely without the bother of a police report and insurance claim - and much less chance of injury.

ShyTorque
2nd Mar 2018, 21:08
I have a sleeping bag in my boot the whole year round. Mainly cos the old fashioned sleepover ones with a zip along 2 sides is the best boot protector I have ever had. I pop a shovel in when it looks grim.

Yeh, me too. Comes in handy when me and the missus have a fall out.

Never needed the shovel for her yet, though. :E

under_exposed
3rd Mar 2018, 10:05
The last cold snap, was out 6 years ago? I was on hard compact snow. There was no sensation of slipping backwards. One moment I was walking, next I was flat on my back, no transition. I just lay there, don't know if I had been unconscious, just ran a few BIT and got up. What saved my head was my hat.

Wow,exactly what I thought of my slip a few days ago (sitting here with cracked ribs).
Fortunately I was assisted very quickly by many people including two who had just done first aid training followed by a passing St. John's ambulance member, and then another member. So grateful to all those who stopped.

Pontius Navigator
3rd Mar 2018, 14:14
I was driving over a fen road which had a steepish descent and ascent and virtually no possibility of braking or accelerating. Cars would wait at the top and when the road was clear launch off, using the upgrade to slow down.

After I was committed a van, previously static and well clear of the road decided to pull out without looking. There was no way I could have avoided him. Fortunately he saw the lights, heard the horn and recognized the danger.

Krystal n chips
3rd Mar 2018, 16:56
I was driving over a fen road which had a steepish descent and ascent and virtually no possibility of braking or accelerating. Cars would wait at the top and when the road was clear launch off, using the upgrade to slow down.

After I was committed a van, previously static and well clear of the road decided to pull out without looking. There was no way I could have avoided him. Fortunately he saw the lights, heard the horn and recognized the danger.

Really ?......and where is this road then, given the Fens are, erm, notoriously flat and not exactly going to rival Portlock Weir when it comes to gradients. The highest point is, um, 36ft amsl which isn't really going to require oxygen when ascending.

Of course, if you are talking about the ascent to Binbrook, up in the Lincolnshire Alps ( or Wolds for the purists ) from Market Rasen, then yes, that road can give the impression of having a hill on it.

RAT 5
3rd Mar 2018, 18:25
Just to lighten up your day, and a reminder that the 6P's applies to snow clearing.

https://youtu.be/np9t413kNF8

flyems
5th Mar 2018, 12:20
not only setting off into red alert weather, but also in ambert alert conditions completly ill equipped.

What really made me laugh was a driver being interveiwed yesterday lunchtime having been stuck in Scotland overnight his intention was to travel onto Exeter, what was he thinking. Why is it people think they will always make it through?



Is a case of crying wolf too often? How many amber warnings over the past have actually reflected the severity of the weather at that stage, does that lead to people getting desensitised when it comes to the warnings? I get that the met office needs to cover backsides, but maybe the warning system needs more careful use?

GLIDER 90
8th Apr 2018, 21:11
Have seen people on really bad days in the winter when the car is all iced up, set off with only a tiny hole made in drivers window to see out of, where's the logic behind that!!