How Southern Drivers Become Unable to Cope With Snow

Snow is in the forecast for Durham this weekend, and though it will most assuredly not happen, I thought I'd share this story from last winter:

On a Sunday morning last year, I was making the decision about whether or not to go to church. Though the odds of precipitation were low, there was a very small chance of ice or snow while I was in the service. As a driver who learned to drive in the midwest, I have no fear of snow or ice and total confidence in my ability to navigate them. This is true even in Durham, where the winter road preparations are, let's say, haphazard: the city at least owns snow plows, salt, and brine, even if it shows little understanding of how to use them.

No, the real problem is the other drivers. The first year I was here, Durham received a quarter-inch of snow, and the local news featured stories of people who ran out of gas at intersections because no one would even attempt to drive. Last year, we had a snow of 2-4 inches that fell in the afternoon, and caused chaos. Admittedly, the storm came on quickly, getting the first half inch in about an hour. The preferred solution for many drivers was to abandon their cars by the side of the road or, when needed, in the road itself.

Faced with the possibility of drivers like these, I did the only sensible thing and decided to stay home.

And that is how to take a northern driver and turn him into a southerner who is afraid to go out because it might snow.

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