Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Every Winter


The foolish are always with us.

All across the snow belt people don’t think about how their snug warm car can become a death trap.

Recently a truck went off the road between Evanston, WY and Utah on I-80. The truck slid sideways into deep snow, the snow came through the windshield filling the cab then freezing solid. The driver and co-driver were trapped in the sleeper cab where they froze to death.

Sisty, who investigates truck crashes as an insurance adjuster, says she has seen truck drivers, during Wyoming blizzards, dressed in shorts, wife beaters, and flip flops.

Other bloggers have commented on map programs showing alternate routes. As far as I know, no program has, “select a safe alternative route” as a feature.

As always, YMMV


drjim said...

Give me a paper map! I've had the GPS try and direct me on routes I knew were a poor choice, so I avoided the algorithm's advice.

Out here, in bad weather, is no time to learn the local geography and roads. It can, and will, kill you.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

I always have paper maps with me. In my job I always map out a trip before I leave. Too often the GPS decides I want 1234 xyz street, Arvada instead of Wellington.

Ed Campbell said...

I carry a set of Rand McNally Road atlases in each vehicle I own. Even the ones with the full GPS nav. I just trust the atlases more in the off chance that bad things happen. I also have had occasions where Google maps and the onboard nav in my truck have disagreed with each other and not by a house or two. It was more than a mile and across a major road in a nearby city. Beside, get your head out of the nav and look out the windshield. If it looks impassable it probably is. To this day whenever I fly down to Atlanta to visit my sister in North Georgia Google invariably routes me through Atlanta on surface streets. Now I go down there twice a year so that nav error happening is funny to me but how about someone who actually has to rely on it?

In winter, well actually all year long I carry a go bag in the vehicles. Couple of candles, some firestarters, a fleece and a poncho stuffed into a compression sack, a couple of power bars stuff like that. I may not be comfortable but I will be okay. The first aid kits are carried separately.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

A few years ago I spent time as a test driver for Roush (pre production and prototype vehicles). Two times I used the "alternative route" choice, Atlanta and Birmingham. Yeah, see the worst ghettos in the area.

Mainly use GPS in residential areas as I need to find a specific address. Google is usually about 300' off.

Always have extra clothing, high calorie foods, water and tools in my vehicle. Need to update the first aid kit.

Victor Polk said...

Have enough in my vehicle for 3 days survival. Always have a full tank.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Welcome and thanks for commenting. My father taught us 1/2 a tank was Empty and vehicles didn't burn more gas with a full tank than an empty one. Then I married a woman where I worried about washing off the rust on the $2 line ($10 today).

Old NFO said...

Go kits that get changed with the season, and good first aid kits. And yes, plain old Rand McNally maps. And actually checking the weather BEFORE you start out!

Well Seasoned Fool said...

The culture I grew up in was you went, period. Being prepared was nearly a DNA thing. In my dotage I've eased off some.

Victor Polk said...

I also have $900.00 in 5's 10's and 20's hidden and a Baofeng UV-5R pre programmed 2 way radio. You can pick these up for under 30 bucks.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

You are bwrrwe prepared than I am.

Greybeard said...

26 years flying an EMS helicopter-
Wee hours one morning I landed the helicopter in the middle of a State Highway where two cars had "head-on'ed". Everyone (2) in one car was DRT... "dead right there". Rear seat passengers in the second vehicle were alive, but in need of trauma care. ALL the windows in both vehicles were non-existent, and the ambient temperature was 10 degrees Fahrenheit. I have no idea how long it took the first ambulance to arrive, but our flight time was 20 minutes. These victims were COLD... not only suffering from internal trauma and possible head injuries but also suffering from hypothermia.
Good suggestions "all the above" I'll add-
Four "Space Blankets" and hand warmers to provide a little heat beneath them.
And they must be accessible to all AFTER the SHTF.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Great advice!

Wild, wild west said...

To paraphrase and old thing about politics, just because you aren't interested in cold weather doesn't mean that cold weather isn't interested in you.

Richard Condon once wrote:
Spring seduces,
Summer thrills.
Autumn sates.
Winter kills.

I use Waze which has been generally reliable, except for the time it routed me thru a very interesting part of Atlanta, similar to what Ed described. No bueno!

I've hand annotated my Rand-McNally with various local radio stations for the areas that I travel, which comes in handy for local weather conditions. In eastern Nebraska last year, I used that road map and various radio reports to skirt around a large and dangerous storm that spawned numerous tornadoes and the GPS was no help whatsoever. The new kids in the company make fun of the old geezer with the paper map but when asked to describe how they would have handled that situation instead, they had no clue.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Haven't thought about local radio stations. Good idea.

Wild, wild west said...

In truth, mostly I just use the radio list to find right-wing-wacko talk programming more efficiently as I ricochet around the country, but it has collateral uses such as weather events and traffic disruptions. Work travel has me running too large an area to keep all those stations memorized.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Local NE radio stations. Ag prices, crop reports. etc. I've been away from farming/ranching so long I don't understand what they are saying.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

My apartment is under a Flight for Life flight path. Always reminds me of my late brother-in-law who was flown in from the "patch". He was alive when he was wheeled in but sadly they couldn't save him. Without the chopper ride he wouldn't have had any chance at all.

DQinTX said...

Last summer "Google" tried to send me down some very interesting dirt roads through Colorado and Wyoming. Thankfully it was summer and I was feeling adventurous. Got to see some interesting sights like Irish Canyon(off of 10N) in Colorado. But, it would have killed me if it was winter.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Goggle keeps Sweetwater and Moffat County S&Rs busy year around. That area is something of an ancestral home going back four generations. I know the country and it takes an urgent reason for me to go there in the winter.