It's 32 degrees and you're driving on the highway...

What is the fastest speed that you can driver safely, given the road and temperature conditions?

  • 0 - 20 mph

    Votes: 2 2.9%
  • 21 - 40 mph

    Votes: 9 13.2%
  • 41 mph +

    Votes: 57 83.8%

  • Total voters
    68

Chester P Squier

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If you've ever wondered why no automobile rental agencies in Alaska have white cars in their inventory...well now you know.
I was driving down the interstate when it was raining. The car in front was splashing up water, did not have its (tail)lights on, and was of a silver-gray color. It was all but invisible in the rain.

Then I realized the car I was driving was of a silver-gray color.

I made it safely to my destination, but no more silver-gray cars for me.

Mine is white, but I live down south where it doesn't snow very often.
 

Flat6Driver

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the main worry is bridges and overpasses... is there wind? is it wet or damp, do your tires kick up water (wet) or not (damp) what is your tire situation? front wheel drive or rear? lots to consider.

I'd probably go the speed limit.
I was on a drive a couple months ago. Woke up to a little snow on the ground in the PA mountains. I gassed up the truck and got going. I got to the first bridge which was a little uphill and had some snow on it. At 60mph, when you feel the rear wheels start spinning, it wakes you right up!

I pulled over shortly thereafter and put the 4wd on.
 

Boxla

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" roads are clear but damp, and have a little salt on them"

There's only one correct answer to this and it's the speed limit. It does not matter the car since we really don't have roads over 70 or 75 mph and the vast majority of cars out there will handle that just fine. Why would temp have anything to do with anything? If the roads are clear but damp with salt, then speed limit it is maybe 5-10 over depending on the scene. Of course we'll always take precautions around sharp turns etc..

Another pet peeve I have about rain is why on earth would every state not have a 'Headlights on" law when it's raining? It's so simple and actually one of the good laws. Some states have it and some don't. What all states don't have though is someone telling cigarette smokers to stop throwing out their butts out the car window. It's as if they think they are so small that they're really not trash or littering. I assume they would not throw their McDonald's bag out the window so why the cigarette?
 

Chiogtr4x

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" roads are clear but damp, and have a little salt on them"

There's only one correct answer to this and it's the speed limit. It does not matter the car since we really don't have roads over 70 or 75 mph and the vast majority of cars out there will handle that just fine. Why would temp have anything to do with anything? If the roads are clear but damp with salt, then speed limit it is maybe 5-10 over depending on the scene. Of course we'll always take precautions around sharp turns etc..

Did not go this year, but my wife is from Rochester, NY ( we live in VA) and we often drive up for a Christmas family (her) visit to NY, for a few days...

It's kind of scary ( just when I think about what I'm doing) but often on the trip back home,
we are driving back on the NY Thruway ( Interstate 390) in 15°- 20° temp, road is damp/clear with chemicals or salt.
There is previous snow on the shoulders- and we are going up and down epic mountain hills ( a few miles long, but straight) and EVERYONE is going 65-70 MPH. Often when going UP, you will run into white-out, snowy ' mini- blizzards- they just pop up at higher elevations

I'm white-knuckled, on steering wheel doing this, but when everyone around is going this speed, you just do it.
But it can be intense! ( a few hours of this) in my head, I'm thinking:
" What is keeping all of us from just flying off of this roller coaster?!'

Temps warm up 1/2 way thru PA> MD
 
Last edited:

ZackyDog

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Why would temp have anything to do with anything? If the roads are clear but damp with salt, then speed limit it is maybe 5-10 over depending on the scene. Of course we'll always take precautions around sharp turns etc..

You've got be kidding? Temperature has everything to do with it, especially with the underpasses and bridges which will freeze over first.

You're in Jamaica? I don't see how you can relate to a New England winter. 5-10 over depending on the scene you say? :lol:
 

teletimetx

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Frontrangia CO
There's no message; I just wanted some kind of sanity check. There have been major accidents lately on CT highways, and now I think that I know why.

I lived in Portland, Oregon hospitals for 3 months, recovering from a near death experience with the flu. I lived in the Seattle area for 22+ years; now I'm back where I grew up in CT.

Ok - I think I understand now.

Sorry about the health problems; particularly the hospital time. At least as scary as driving on ice, no?

There’s some good advice in this thread and a lot of it based on experience. The way you phrased the set up for the thread made it appear as though you wanted to pass along some specific detail about winter driving.

Most of my winter driving has been in Colorado. It’s relatively dry and for the most part, not as much ice as New England states, for example. In the past, roads here were not salted, although that changed a little bit.

Short story: In the 70’s, driving through Nevada, horizontal blizzard, almost whiteout. I-80, just west of Winnemuca.

I was doing 40-45, headlights on, mid day, as that seemed about right for very limited visibility. Wasn’t real slippery, but a lot of snow.

18-wheeler flies by, doing maybe 65, he’s got maybe better visibility. Then, WHAM, my heavy Dodge station wagon is rear-ended by a little 60’s era BMW, right between the tail lights. We get a little instant acceleration, but nothing out of control. Pull over, we’re mostly ok.

The BMW had been drafting on the 18-wheeler, but why?

Once you’ve made a good assessment, the real danger isn’t the road - it’s other drivers making bad choices.

As you can see from the responses, there are many variables to consider. One option that’s always available - if the conditions get real ugly, find a safe spot and wait it out.

The folks who drive for a living usually had really good advice.
 

rcole_sooner

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Depends on so much... ground temps as well as air temps and other things....

I tend to blend with traffic.

If no other traffic, then the speed limit or slower.

If it is black ice conditions, then ... I'd really prefer to not be on the road.
 

buster poser

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People in general need to learn about proper tires for conditions.

If you live in the mid-/upper-Atlantic seaboard in the US, you really need properly constructed winter tires. All-seasons are outed as anything but once snow/slush accumulate.

 

SRHmusic

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Too many variables for a single answer.

Note salt water freezes around 18F, if I recall correctly, so if the roads are well salted as in the northeast US there not much chance for ice to form above that. Below that and normal rock salt won't necessarily help. Roads with traffic are better as the pressure and movement keeps the ice from forming.

The type of road matters. If you see dry or wet pavement with salt on the highway with some traffic you're fine. If you're on some back or secondary road without recent salt be careful, especially where water drains across the road and on crests of hills. "Black Ice" is nearly invisible even when you're standing on it. It forms when a slow moving, wide sheet of water freezes without air bubbles. If it had been colder than 32F before you started driving then there's more chance of ice, as well.
 

BigDaddyLH

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The type of road matters. If you see dry or wet pavement with salt on the highway with some traffic you're fine. If you're on some back or secondary road without recent salt be careful, especially where water drains across the road and on crests of hills. "Black Ice" is nearly invisible even when you're standing on it. It forms when a slow moving, wide sheet of water freezes without air bubbles. If it had been colder than 32F before you started driving then there's more chance of ice, as well.

This. The road could have been completely clear until you go around a corner into the shade and encounter some nearly invisible black ice. Before you have time to react, you're sailing sideways.
 

gitold

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I’m retired… No need to ever drive in inclimate weather, just wait untill it clears up!
 




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