Snow/ice driving practice

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Snow/ice driving practice

Postby Brian D. » Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:52 pm

Funny story from Christmas yesterday: SW Ohio got its first decent taste of snow and ice for this winter overnight. I had some time before any family engagements, so took my new Jeep (first 4x4 I've owned in many years) out to a large empty retail parking lot after breakfast in order to see how it handled. This is something I have tried to do every winter for as long as I've owned vehicles, especially when they're new to me.

It doesn't seem to matter how vacated the place is, be it a city park or private parking lot, almost every time I do this a LEO shows up and flags me down. Yesterday was no exception, this time it was a Hamilton County deputy. Of course my initial words were notification of carry license and status. He wasn't interested in that (I'll mention that part on Mr Magoo's thread) but wanted to immediately scold me like a misbehaving child. As I get older, it seems the cops get younger and younger, so being talked down to before asking WHY I'm skid-padding around gets a little tiresome. Politely as possible I explained how this has been my practice for longer than he'd been alive, and had probably kept me from panic-crashing in road traffic on a few occasions. Before he could reply, I followed up with a question: "Don't you ever do this with the cruiser or your own car, just to get a feel of bad road conditions?" Grudgingly he admitted that yes, he did, but it looked like I was just goofing around, and was in too visible a location. "Well, if this was 1978 and I was 16, in my dad's Ford Maverick, you might have a point about the goofing around. But if I screw up here, replacing this month old car would be a lot worse than getting grounded. There's nothing within two hundred yards for me to collide with, and I'm not about to flip this baby over".

By the time we finished talking he seemed convinced I was serious and wished me a merry Christmas.
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Re: Snow/ice driving practice

Postby WY_Not » Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:10 pm

As long as it is on private property, what is the problem?
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Re: Snow/ice driving practice

Postby carmen fovozzo » Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:15 pm

I do a test every year when we get the first sign of crappy weather...on private property..
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Re: Snow/ice driving practice

Postby Brian D. » Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:31 pm

I think the cops assume it's a 16 year old that needs to be told/shown the "error of their ways" when they first see someone sliding around. But when they see it's a grown up...okay, older individual, the officer's demeanor ought to be a bit more respectful. At least until they get a rude answer to "So, what the heck are you DOING?" And of course I reply politely.

At work, my FD bosses always turned down requests for us to driver-train the trucks or ambulances in snow, or take professional classes of that kind. Sure, the rigs are expensive, taxpayer funded vehicles, but you gotta have some confidence to operate them safely. (Guess what? When nobody was looking, some of us did it anyway!) Confidence comes from practice, and not by driving just on dry sunny days.
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Re: Snow/ice driving practice

Postby schmieg » Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:32 pm

Brian D. wrote:Funny story from Christmas yesterday: SW Ohio got its first decent taste of snow and ice for this winter overnight. I had some time before any family engagements, so took my new Jeep (first 4x4 I've owned in many years) out to a large empty retail parking lot after breakfast in order to see how it handled. This is something I have tried to do every winter for as long as I've owned vehicles, especially when they're new to me.

It doesn't seem to matter how vacated the place is, be it a city park or private parking lot, almost every time I do this a LEO shows up and flags me down. Yesterday was no exception, this time it was a Hamilton County deputy. Of course my initial words were notification of carry license and status. He wasn't interested in that (I'll mention that part on Mr Magoo's thread) but wanted to immediately scold me like a misbehaving child. As I get older, it seems the cops get younger and younger, so being talked down to before asking WHY I'm skid-padding around gets a little tiresome. Politely as possible I explained how this has been my practice for longer than he'd been alive, and had probably kept me from panic-crashing in road traffic on a few occasions. Before he could reply, I followed up with a question: "Don't you ever do this with the cruiser or your own car, just to get a feel of bad road conditions?" Grudgingly he admitted that yes, he did, but it looked like I was just goofing around, and was in too visible a location. "Well, if this was 1978 and I was 16, in my dad's Ford Maverick, you might have a point about the goofing around. But if I screw up here, replacing this month old car would be a lot worse than getting grounded. There's nothing within two hundred yards for me to collide with, and I'm not about to flip this baby over".

By the time we finished talking he seemed convinced I was serious and wished me a merry Christmas.

I bet he was surprised when he saw you behind the wheel. Probably was fishing for a kid or a drunk. It's actually a good practice as there is nothing more disconcerting than entering a spin on an icy or snowy road because you oversteered at too high a speed and 4x4's handle it differently than RWD or FWD.

Which Jeep did you get?
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Re: Snow/ice driving practice

Postby Brian D. » Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:08 pm

Jeep Compass. My previous model, the Patriot, was discontinued this year. This is about the same size, with controls set up pretty similar.

Schmieg, saw earlier you were replying in this section, hoped it was a post about you deliberately sliding around in a tank back in the day. :)
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Re: Snow/ice driving practice

Postby 147Doc » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:27 pm

Brian D. wrote:...hoped it was a post about you deliberately sliding around in a tank back in the day. :)


There are some AWESOME YouTube videos of our Marines and (if I remember right) the Danish tankers doing skid turns in tanks. Our guys were cross training there.
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Re: Snow/ice driving practice

Postby steves 50de » Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:26 pm

carmen fovozzo wrote:I do a test every year when we get the first sign of crappy weather...on private property..

I think some people are to old to drive. :twisted: just sayin. :wink: :lol:
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Re: Snow/ice driving practice

Postby sodbuster95 » Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:03 pm

Just did this same thing last night with my new (to me) 4x4 truck. I didn‘t get scolded, though. :wink:
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Re: Snow/ice driving practice

Postby Brian D. » Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:36 pm

I expect it's better tolerated the further north you live.
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Re: Snow/ice driving practice

Postby Mr. Glock » Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:43 pm

Brian D. wrote:I expect it's better tolerated the further north you live.


Colder, so most LEOs don’t want to get out of their cruiser.
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Re: Snow/ice driving practice

Postby schmieg » Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:49 pm

Brian D. wrote:Jeep Compass. My previous model, the Patriot, was discontinued this year. This is about the same size, with controls set up pretty similar.

Schmieg, saw earlier you were replying in this section, hoped it was a post about you deliberately sliding around in a tank back in the day. :)

I never did, but three of the tanks in our training section at Fort Knox did as they were moving the tanks to the firing range, down a steep hill that was covered with ice. They didn't allow us officers to drive them, so they were being driven by experienced people. The first three went down the hill in circles and ended up all together at the bottom. They decided to change our firing schedule to another day and we rode the rest of the tanks back to the motor pool and some classroom work while the tank retriever went out to try to get those three back up the hill.

Another time, it was so cold that my canteen froze and split in the motor pool while they were trying to get the tanks started. There was a reason that we let them idle all night in Germany.
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Re: Snow/ice driving practice

Postby AlanM » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:26 am

I could be wrong, but I THINK that doing donuts in a public parking lot for any reason is against Ohio state law.

When I first got out of the Navy I was hired by E I du Pont as a field service rep. Company car, expense account, international airline credit card, LOTS of travel. Note: This was nearly 40 years ago.
DuPont is/was VERY safety conscious when it comes to their company vehicles. All company car drivers, when I worked for them, were sent to week long defensive driving classes and also a week long "Skid School".
This is the one I, along with about 10 other duPont employees, attended.
MN Highway Safety & Research Center Advanced Driving Skills
It's run by St Cloud State University in St. Cloud Minnesota and IIRC was originally set up to train Minnesota State Police how to keep their vehicles on the road.
They have a "skid pad" made of VERY smooth surfaced concrete about half an acre in size with a raised lip all around its perimeter that has about 1 to 2 inches of water in it. Training cars have dual brake peddles in front and the instructor, who sits in the front passenger seat can throw the vehicle into a skid just about any time they wish.

Our class was all duPont employees from all over the US. Two of us grew up in serious winter snow country, eastern Washington for me and Chicago area for Mike. We had one classmate from Texas that had NEVER seen, much less driven in, snow.
It snowed while we were there. Mike and I were the only two that were able to do the 35 mph "snake course" at 50 mph. Our instructors weren't able to put us in a skid we couldn't recover from.
Of course, that was back when my reaction time was considerably less than it is now.

OBTW, I took both my daughters out to mall parking lots after a good snow to have them do donuts when they were 16.

I might add that one guaranteed way to lose your job with duPont was to have an AVOIDABLE accident while driving their vehicle. The salesman I worked with lucked out by having several LEO testify that his fender bender was due to the fact that he had swerved to avoid hitting a "fleeing felon" who ran out from between two cars during a man hunt.
Make a note: if you are driving home and see A LOT of police vehicles with all their lights flashing it's probably best to find another way home.
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Re: Snow/ice driving practice

Postby carmen fovozzo » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:53 pm

steves 50de wrote:
carmen fovozzo wrote:I do a test every year when we get the first sign of crappy weather...on private property..

I think some people are to old to drive. :twisted: just sayin. :wink: :lol:


Or short.. :)
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Re: Snow/ice driving practice

Postby schmieg » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:28 pm

AlanM wrote:I could be wrong, but I THINK that doing donuts in a public parking lot for any reason is against Ohio state law.

Without going to the code, I don't recall any law against donuts per se, but it is against the law to operate a motor vehicle with wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property on private property which is probably why the officer questioned Brian thoroughly on what he was doing. Having determined that he was not so operating the Jeep, he let it go. Had Brian been 18 or looked like a tatooed crackhead, he probably would have gotten a ticket.
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