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Posted at 7:42 PM ET, 01/28/2011

Driver's ed for D.C.

By Doug Terry, Olney

I was out in the storm on Wednesday night along with thousands of others. I hitched rides nine miles down Connecticut Avenue from Olney to meet my wife to help her get home.

My experiences in helping drivers get moving showed me once more that many people around here just don’t know how to drive in the snow. When the wheels start spinning, these drivers push harder on the accelerator, which causes the wheels to spin more. Eventually, usually as they approach the top of a hill, they lose momentum and get stuck. Also, no one whom I tried to help knew how to rock the car back and forth to get it going again. I actually got in the driver’s seat (with the driver’s permission) in one car and helped get it moving. Learning how to rock the car is simple and can be practiced in the early winter when there is a light snow.

What’s the answer? How about a region-wide program to teach people how to drive on snow? If even 500 fewer cars had been stuck Wednesday night, I believe things would have moved along a lot more smoothly.

By Doug Terry, Olney  | January 28, 2011; 7:42 PM ET
Categories:  D.C., traffic  
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Comments

I'm not sure it would help, but heck, other than suspending the licenses of all Metro area drivers from December through March, I guess it's the next best thing.

Posted by: Itzajob | January 28, 2011 9:50 PM | Report abuse

http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_17232775

Posted by: staciclay | January 29, 2011 2:27 AM | Report abuse


I saw dozens of cab drivers in their Crown Vics on CT Ave spinning their wheels like crazy.

Those dirty arabs don't know to drive.

Posted by: kenk33 | January 29, 2011 7:56 AM | Report abuse

I'm the guy who you probably curse out when I go speeding past you in the snow. The reason I do that is because I know that you will not make it up the next hill at 5 mph with your flashers on and I want to be in front of you when you get stuck. You're doing the right things by reducing speed and leaving more room, etc., but you need to speed up - not slow down - when you have to climb a hill. Slow down when descending the other side of it.

Posted by: mycroftt | January 29, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

How do you teach driving in snowy conditions unless you have snowy conditions? I guess a simulator is possible but that would be expensive to develop, and who would pay?

Posted by: Nemo24601 | January 29, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

kenk33 @ January 29, 2011 7:56 AM wrote "I saw dozens of cab drivers in their Crown Vics on CT Ave spinning their wheels like crazy.

Those dirty arabs don't know to drive."

Behold the BIGOT!

Posted by: AMviennaVA | January 29, 2011 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Don't brake going uphill!

Speed up going downhill before you go uphill.

If you are understeering, open the steering wheel back up or lift off the gas, don't turn the wheel more. Likewise you can pull the ebrake to pivot the car.

Posted by: abcd4 | January 29, 2011 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Re:

How do you teach driving in snowy conditions unless you have snowy conditions? I guess a simulator is possible but that would be expensive to develop, and who would pay?

Posted by: Nemo24601 | January 29, 2011 9:54 AM
--------------
Oh for Pete's sake - we have snow practically every winter and every winter it's the same old story. People claim they can't drive in snow and they're totally petrified. Take the time to get to a snow covered parking lot and experiment with driving in the snow. See what happens to your car with quick stops and jack-rabbit starts and jerking the steering wheel too hard. I loved doing this stuff when I was a kid back in Wis. We certainly couldn't stop for 5 inches of snow back there. I've been living out here 30 years and it's always the same story. My mom always says, well you have snow every year, what's the matter with you people? My parents still live in northern Wis. and they called me on Thursday night after watching the World News and wanted to know how we were doing? I just told them that the media makes it sound like we've gotten three feet of snow and that it's the end of the world. When they found out we only got 5 inches, they were shocked.

Posted by: missingwisc | January 30, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse

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