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does the snow make drivers crazy?

thropethrope Posts: 69
edited February 2009 in Commuting chat
Hi,

Just had an eventful trip home. I had thought it would be quite pleasant in the snow - since with all the gear I'm warm enough, and I thought drivers would be nicer since they aren't going any where in a hurry (traffic and slow speeds) and they might have some sympathy for those of us out in the cold. It seems not though.

One taxi almost knocked me off - before stopping in traffic about 50 yards ahead. I managed to keep my cool this time, and knocked on the window to ask if he saw me. He said I was in the middle of the road holding him up and that I should go to the edge - I pointed out the edge was full of potholes, slush and ice and that I didn't hold him up anyway because now I was stopped talking to him, and in any case I'd be at the bottom of rusholme twice as quick as him anyway... He said that wasn't the point... I didn't really know what to say to that. What arguments to others use in these situations?

Had another incident with a big van stopped way forward in the green cycle zone at a lights, who swerved suddenly as I was coming up (with the light still red) - I found out after because a bus was coming round the corner and he hadn't left room for it. I tried pointing out that it was illegal to stop covering the green cycle bit, and that the road layout was designed to allow buses to pass if people stop at the designated points - but again didn't really get anywhere.

Just wanted to vent really - can't talk to the wife really because it worries her! :wink:
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  • nwallacenwallace Posts: 1,465
    Nope they try to drive normally,

    Don't understand why 1st and 2nd gear induce wheel spin and fail to realise that putting the car in 3rd or 4th may allow it to grip (less torque)

    Don't understand why their traction control is going nuts nor that the correct action is to press the off button on the TCS

    Don't understand that stopping distance on snow is considerably further than on a dry road, but then they don't understand that for wet roads and ice either.

    Have no concept that those rubber band things on their wheels are suitable for bone dry roads only

    Have no concept that a light shirt, tie, trousers and wool jacket are not going to keep them warm should they be forced out their vehicle

    etc.
    Do Nellyphants count?

    Commuter: FCN 9
    Cheapo Roadie: FCN 5
    Off Road: FCN 11

    +1 when I don't get round to shaving for x days
  • thrope wrote:
    Hi,

    Just had an eventful trip home. I had thought it would be quite pleasant in the snow - since with all the gear I'm warm enough, and I thought drivers would be nicer since they aren't going any where in a hurry (traffic and slow speeds) and they might have some sympathy for those of us out in the cold. It seems not though.

    One taxi almost knocked me off - before stopping in traffic about 50 yards ahead. I managed to keep my cool this time, and knocked on the window to ask if he saw me. He said I was in the middle of the road holding him up and that I should go to the edge - I pointed out the edge was full of potholes, slush and ice and that I didn't hold him up anyway because now I was stopped talking to him, and in any case I'd be at the bottom of rusholme twice as quick as him anyway... He said that wasn't the point... I didn't really know what to say to that. What arguments to others use in these situations?

    Had another incident with a big van stopped way forward in the green cycle zone at a lights, who swerved suddenly as I was coming up (with the light still red) - I found out after because a bus was coming round the corner and he hadn't left room for it. I tried pointing out that it was illegal to stop covering the green cycle bit, and that the road layout was designed to allow buses to pass if people stop at the designated points - but again didn't really get anywhere.

    Just wanted to vent really - can't talk to the wife really because it worries her! :wink:

    Aha - think you've just captured the unconscious Raison d'être of the commuting forum. We can't talk to our partners as they get worried so our forum friends are surrogates. 8)

    Totally agree with how frustrating some drivers can be - remember it is a minority though - it may not always seem that way of course :wink:

    I think yuu said the right thing to the taxi driver. As for his "not the point" comment you could simply have said "it's exactly the point" - but I never think of the clever lines until about five minutes after the incident when the fear or red mist has cleared. Well done for getting out in the snow
    Pain is only weakness leaving the body
  • thrope wrote:
    ... He said that wasn't the point...
    Translation:
    I can't 'beat' you in that line of argument, so I'll try to switch tack.
    From your account I think it would have been a miracle if you had managed to get him to see/accept publicly that he might have done something wrong; and coming up with a 'smart' response would probably have unfortunately only raised his anger. You probably did as much as you could (and more than I would have done). Well done.

    His craziness was probably nothing to do with the snow, though :roll: .
  • Eau RougeEau Rouge Posts: 1,118
    thrope wrote:
    He said I was in the middle of the road holding him up and that I should go to the edge ...

    I've yet to try this (had cause last Friday but the driver just got through the lights) but that is where I would point out that to overtake safely (stress safely) he should be over on the other side of the road, just as he would be if you were a small car, and therefore it makes no difference at all whether or not you ride in the middle of the lane or the edge of it.
  • iain_jiain_j Posts: 1,941
    "That's not the point" is my favourite get-out of an argument I'm losing too :lol:
  • symosymo Posts: 1,743
    thrope wrote:
    Hi,

    Just had an eventful trip home. I had thought it would be quite pleasant in the snow - since with all the gear I'm warm enough, and I thought drivers would be nicer since they aren't going any where in a hurry (traffic and slow speeds) and they might have some sympathy for those of us out in the cold. It seems not though.

    One taxi almost knocked me off - before stopping in traffic about 50 yards ahead. I managed to keep my cool this time, and knocked on the window to ask if he saw me. He said I was in the middle of the road holding him up and that I should go to the edge - I pointed out the edge was full of potholes, slush and ice and that I didn't hold him up anyway because now I was stopped talking to him, and in any case I'd be at the bottom of rusholme twice as quick as him anyway... He said that wasn't the point... I didn't really know what to say to that. What arguments to others use in these situations?
    I believe what you should of said was "Want some fat boy?" then waved your pump in a violent manner.
    thrope wrote:
    Had another incident with a big van stopped way forward in the green cycle zone at a lights, who swerved suddenly as I was coming up (with the light still red) - I found out after because a bus was coming round the corner and he hadn't left room for it. I tried pointing out that it was illegal to stop covering the green cycle bit, and that the road layout was designed to allow buses to pass if people stop at the designated points - but again didn't really get anywhere.

    Just wanted to vent really - can't talk to the wife really because it worries her! :wink:
    Again you should have you used my previous witty retort.
    +++++++++++++++++++++
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  • nwallacenwallace Posts: 1,465
    And if I remember rightly, Doom and Doom 2 were both impossible to complete without cheating. (see symo's avatar)
    Do Nellyphants count?

    Commuter: FCN 9
    Cheapo Roadie: FCN 5
    Off Road: FCN 11

    +1 when I don't get round to shaving for x days
  • snakehipssnakehips Posts: 2,272
    thrope wrote:
    He said that wasn't the point... I didn't really know what to say to that. What arguments to others use in these situations?
    :
    Exactly , what can you say to a$$holes like that ? Perhaps better not to bother at all. I think there is something to be said for the 'wear something abrasive' approach to cycling. That way , if someone gets too close to you they might be left with a reminder of the incident , to ponder at their leisure.

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  • If its a taxi, simply take a look at his number and calmly recite it to him.

    I don't think it comes to much if you report them, but based on reactions to this from cabbies (e.g. cabbies who, having failed to overtake on a roundabout when I'm signaling right, undertake when I'm signaling left to come off) the whole procedure is at the very least a hassle for them.
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    Ahh sounds to me like that taxi driver is having a bit of the old road rage in his cab. I saw a few cyclists (with snow tyres on I might add) give up and ride on the pavement today. The cars had just slid all over the place. Saw one driver gun it around the corner, spin 180 degrees and obviously thought "thats it, I give up!" As he then drove back the way he came.

    I got into work yesterday (with a real struggle), but today only managed to get one bus that cancelled its journey within a mile, so I got off and walked home. Phoned work and said there was no way I'm walking the other 5 to work in these conditions.

    I might invest in snow cleats as a result, that way I wont miss a wage :?
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    I am pretty sure I completed Doom and I'm not even a seasoned gamer! Or did you mean in whatever the most fiendishly hard mode was?
  • You have my heart felt sympathy.

    I have been lucky enough to witness unexpected levels of driver sense the last two days. As I am wan to vent about the poor driving of people in Southampton I feel I ought to give some praise.

    I reckon its because all / most of the schools here are closed so there are less cars on the road in general.

    If only it would last once the snow melts but I think this might be too much to hope for.

    tiny
  • i've been fairly amazed at how just this amount of snow seems to be able to stop london, seen a fair amount of spin happy folk. other areas get snow like this a few times ever year at least but don't grind to a halt. still has ment a lot quieter roads which is a plus.
  • Eau RougeEau Rouge Posts: 1,118
    i've been fairly amazed at how just this amount of snow seems to be able to stop london, seen a fair amount of spin happy folk. other areas get snow like this a few times ever year at least but don't grind to a halt. still has ment a lot quieter roads which is a plus.

    Anywhere in the world that gets the usual levels of snow London gets (i.e. almost none) also grind to a halt when the snow hits. This isn't unique to London or the UK.
  • Eau Rouge wrote:
    i've been fairly amazed at how just this amount of snow seems to be able to stop london, seen a fair amount of spin happy folk. other areas get snow like this a few times ever year at least but don't grind to a halt. still has ment a lot quieter roads which is a plus.

    Anywhere in the world that gets the usual levels of snow London gets (i.e. almost none) also grind to a halt when the snow hits. This isn't unique to London or the UK.
    Oh come on, the response was lamentable, the coverage sheer hysteria. It was risk aversion gone bonkers. In the office yesterday, an Australian colleague showed me an Aussie news article ripping the pipss out of the UK, and a Canadian ex-colleague sent me one from Canada doing the same.

    I mean, someone climbing a tree and slipping off made national news yesterday because it was snow related. Argghh I want to become a hermit so I don't have to be exposed to this absurd drivel.

    Question - if this event costs the UK economy £3 billion (one estimate I heard), how does this compare to the cost storing a few hundred gritters and snow ploughs which might not be used for several years at a time?
  • Eau RougeEau Rouge Posts: 1,118
    Oh come on, the response was lamentable.

    Quite, because snow is so rare here nobody has to learn to deal with it. People can get away with taking a day or two off, closing the schools for a day or two, etc. so they do. If it was like this for a fortnight you'd see people coping perfectly well by the end of it.
    I mean, someone climbing a tree and slipping off made national news yesterday because it was snow related. Argghh I want to become a hermit so I don't have to be exposed to this absurd drivel.

    Thats rolling 24-hour news for you. People give far too much credability to the news in general, and TV news in particular. Just because it's on the news doesn't mean it's important or even relevent.
    Question - if this event costs the UK economy £3 billion (one estimate I heard), how does this compare to the cost storing a few hundred gritters and snow ploughs which might not be used for several years at a time?

    You surely know the value of costs statistics, especially on the TV news.... They pick the most overinflated one of a bunch of overinflated press releases from self-interested bodies that are all just making it all up to promote their own agendas, governments included. They do this all the time. Never buy drugs from the police, for example, cause they seriously overcharge judging ny the prices they claim the drugs they find are worth.
    £3bn will be a huge overestimate, it's already twice the highest value I've seen.
    It's based on two factors, people not paying for stuff today and yesterday, but thats stuff they will have to buy tomorrow instead, so not really lost at all, and manufacturing losing two days of production while still having to pay people. Thats a loss alright, but not a huge one, two days is hardly that significant. So £3bn is way off target. People did work and shop in London over the past two days.

    As for offsetting the costs, fine and dandy if the cost of this useless equipment is born from taxes calculated on revenues of companies, rather than profits, but that isn't the case. The value to the government of losing two days of economic activity must be tiny (it's very very roughly 20% of the lost profits from these two days, but "lost means really lost, so things bought in the next week instead of last week don't count,) It isn't £3bn, realistically, by the time it's been through the burocracy, it probably doesn't pay for one councils fleet of snow ploughs, let alone the countries. Care to see your council tax bill increased to pay for stuff thats used two days a year, only it's not cause the guys who were trained to use it left for another job or can't get into work because the roads are blocked?

    And anyway, snow ploughs are only part of it. The real stuff is about road designs, town layouts, public service infrastructure, snow tyres on cars, drivers actually used to driving on snow, people not living miles from work etc etc. The fact is the UK, is like everywhere else that gets hit by snow rarely and stops working.

    eg, Las Vegas, just a few weeks ago...
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... years.html
    Care to imagine the number of "man slips" stories the local news channels ran with that day?
    Thats just one example. Stories like this pop up regularly enough, even from European countries that have areas that are used to snow, like France or Germany, when the bits that aren't used to snow get some.

    British people like to moan. Thats all. If every January was covered in snow for the whole month, Britian would cope perfectly well, nobody would even notice.
  • For sure the stats are disingenuous, but it only has to be a fraction of this for it to be a false economy to be so ditheringly useless at dealing with "extremes" of weather. I don't think the estimates will be as wide of the mark as you think either, but I'm no economist.

    Is the UK so galactically short sighted that they are as ready to cope with "extremes" of cold weather as Las Vegas?

    Last time I was in Vegas, the thermometers were reading 108 F. Ave daytime temp in winter is about 15 deg C or something. I think they have a slightly better case for coping badly with snow than London. And if you compare the south of England to Vegas, how did we all manage in the heat wavein 2003? If memory serves, we are astronomically censored at dealing with either extreme. Or leaves, or heavy rain. Or not enough rain.

    No, in Britain, within in half a generation we've lost all sense of proportionality. Lets face it, the world now knows for sure that the UK is a fading peripheral northern European car park populated entirely by feeble pillocks.
  • Eau RougeEau Rouge Posts: 1,118
    Britain is afflicted with snow for what, 2 or 3 days every two years?

    There is a very good argument that the UK should have another National Holiday, so that accounts for two of those anyway. In the grand scheme of things a bit of snow being a hassle is not a big deal, certainly not enough to be going out wasting money on equipment and planning and stuff that is not needed. It's nothing, it happens everywhere, it does actually happen in places used to snow as well, when they get caught out by an early or late storm, it's perfectly normal and not a sign of impending doom. Reacting to it would be a sign that something is seriously wrong.
  • if britain = SE england yes.

    north england, wales scotland and other areas have more than that, and they have hills, some schools close some don't but they cope, most people get to work most things just carry on.
  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    If its a taxi, simply take a look at his number and calmly recite it to him.

    I don't think it comes to much if you report them, but based on reactions to this from cabbies (e.g. cabbies who, having failed to overtake on a roundabout when I'm signaling right, undertake when I'm signaling left to come off) the whole procedure is at the very least a hassle for them.

    It can work. I once had a Hackney cab cut me up in the centre of Manchester when I was riding my motorbike(!) - it was a big 'un too!! I had to stop so suddenly that I got off balance and dropped it, the result being that it pinned me to the ground so i couldn't pick it up!

    Luckily I was rescued by a couple of passers-by who lifted the bike up for me so I could get up. I'd managed to make a note of the cab's number so I reported him to the Greater Manchester Public Transport Executive (GMPTE). I later received a full letter of apology from GMPTE and an assurance that the driver would be disciplined.

    Obviously whether it happened or not I don't know, but it made me feel a bit better!
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  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Taxi drivers nearly always act like [email protected] in Manchester - IME if you put a Taxi driver in a situation where he can act sensibly or stupidly, he often takes the stupid dangerous option.
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  • Eau Rouge wrote:
    Britain is afflicted with snow for what, 2 or 3 days every two years?

    There is a very good argument that the UK should have another National Holiday, so that accounts for two of those anyway. In the grand scheme of things a bit of snow being a hassle is not a big deal, certainly not enough to be going out wasting money on equipment and planning and stuff that is not needed. It's nothing, it happens everywhere, it does actually happen in places used to snow as well, when they get caught out by an early or late storm, it's perfectly normal and not a sign of impending doom. Reacting to it would be a sign that something is seriously wrong.

    How ignorant to state that Britain gets snow every 2 or 3 years. That's not even true of the Chilterns. Admittedly these may be located beyond the end of your nose.

    I have never heard of an entire education system and an entire public transport infrastructure being shut down in an incontinent knee jerk panic measure anywhere else.

    There is a difference between the blithering response this week in England and mere transport disruption.
  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    Eau Rouge wrote:
    It's nothing, it happens everywhere, it does actually happen in places used to snow as well, when they get caught out by an early or late storm, it's perfectly normal and not a sign of impending doom. Reacting to it would be a sign that something is seriously wrong.

    The thing is, we didn't get caught out - we knew it was coming, yet the authorities in the South East and some parts of the Midlands failed to react and/or prepare properly. How is it that the M25 ground to a halt on Monday morning, yet way up in the darkest North, they managed to keep the highest parts of the M62 open on all three or four lanes?

    The other thing is that 99% of British drivers have no idea of how to drive properly in wet, snowy or icy conditions. Sorry, scrap that, make it that 99% of British drivers don't know how to drive properly.
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  • squiredsquired Posts: 1,153
    One only had to see the idiots attempting to get up the hill by my house to realise how many stupid people there are. It turned out that my neighbours were, just like me, sitting at the window thoroughly entertained by the cars getting stuck, sliding backwards, trying to dig themselves out, etc.

    The news complained about money lost by business due to the conditions, but I wasn't sad about it. My company could easily have me set up for home working, but I'm not. At my previous one I was, so would have managed to work a full day from home.

    London certainly hasn't had snow like this since 1991, but that is irrelevant. For example, the box on my road for grit was empty, which is completely unacceptable. The thing that annoyed me was the people on the tv and radio congratulating themselves on how well they have responded to the bad weather. A labour transport minister caused me to switch channel after I got fed up with the rubbish he was spouting and had lost count of the number of times he used the word "exceptional".
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    This thread reads like the Daily Mail :(
  • oh it's not that bad!
  • Robmanic1Robmanic1 Posts: 2,150
    No, in Britain, within in half a generation we've lost all sense of proportionality. Lets face it, the world now knows for sure that the UK is a fading peripheral northern European car park populated entirely by feeble pillocks.

    Not entirely AT, some of us ride bikes.

    According to this morning's news, some poor sole lost their life in a sledging accident, perhaps it's time for the EU to ban snow?

    In my part of the country we had nothing but a light dusting, and folk were still struggling to keep between the white lines. I remember when we used to have proper winters with 10 feet of snow and summers that would melt roads, made us the people we are today! And we had proper wars with trenches!
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  • biondino wrote:
    This thread reads like the Daily Mail :(
    Do you read the Daily Mail?

    If the daily mail conveys to the reader a profound sense of collective humiliation, then yes, its like the Daily Mail.
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