Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. Car related.

Whatizitman

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The automobile has always been about making transportation easier, faster, etc… And more recently, safer.

All fine and dandy, of course.

One impact of that is the normalization of travel in extreme weather. Travel advisories are good and all. But if people are still venturing out, most notably for work/commuting, then accidents and shutdowns will occur. Mother Nature will win out eventually.

But perhaps more importantly, it’s normalized, and even expected, for workers to put themselves and others in danger to get to work. Other side effects include expecting workers to cover for other workers that are absent due to inclement weather. Someone still “has” to make it in, or the work doesn’t get done. This pits employees against each other.

Of course, teleworking can alleviate this somewhat. But not everyone can WFH. And too often those who can’t get stuck with extra work that remote workers are unable to do remotely.

Increasingly, vehicles are designed and marketed as Swiss-army sport-hauler-all-terrain-weather super truckcars. No doubt that has an impact on modern drivers’ expectations of their vehicles capabilities. I imagine the huge traffic tie-ups in recent news were not reflective of the inability of vehicles to handle the elements. On the contrary. Maybe less drivers should have been on the road in the first place. It was reported that some workers had to use PTO for sitting in traffic while commuting to work. Let that sink in. Did the Subarus and 4x4 trucks help those workers?

That’s to say nothing of the skyrocketing costs of newer vehicles reinforcing the need to work to pay for them.

At what point is it all too much? At what point do we all agree that maybe people shouldn’t be out driving in bad weather? Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.
 

imwjl

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I have to drive in bad weather because I manage the infrastructure for a sizable employer in the food business. The company never stops. Long ago I drove semi including move air freight from the O'Hare (Chicago) hub. I have long wished people would not drive when they don't have to and standards were higher.

This is also in mind because we just lost a coworker who was a beautiful soul. She was t-boned in an intersection leaving two grade and middle school kids without a mom.

I've posted here about the our experience losing a family member in a senseless car accident.

I just don't know how I can express how horrible it is to have tragedy like that and how you should not let your ego and behavior contribute to risk. If you have to go deal with the mangled body of your loved one killed from stupidity you might know but I don't wish that on anyone.

Sorry for the rant but the loss of my coworker brings back the other memories.

P.S. This also why I support all the safety technologies being rolled out.
 

Milspec

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I always had a job that required me to show up...no exceptions. So, I always had a vehicle capable of doing that in any weather out of responsibility.

A few years ago, we had a killer blizzard that closed all highways, but I still had to get to work. I drove across gravel county roads and across a field to get there, but I had the vehicle to do it.

The problem is that too many people lack the skills and proper vehicles to handle severe weather. They should not be on the road and they should not have a high priority job that demanded it.

After-all, when was the last time you heard of the snow plow trucks not rolling in a blizzard? They get sent out because they can handle the weather and the drivers have proper training. The same should be the case for those too essential to just stay home....they need the skills and proper vehicles to deal with the weather.
 

skunqesh

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I absolutely agree with the OP in principle.

but I'll toot my own horn, having grown up in the northeast, when school busses still showed up at 7am to take us to school and there was over a foot of fresh on the roads with more on the way. (and mom n dad had me n sis out there at 6am to shovel the drive way).
I learned to drive snow & ice and to take that sh*t serious.
and of course I drive a suby. with stickers. about beer. and snowboards. and stuff. 🤙☮️

naturally family comes first - and all too often that necessitates busting one's posterior to 'do the job'. 😣

edit/
of course the easy out is - tell the boss you have "the plague that shall not be named" and take two weeks (to search for a new job)
 
Last edited:

teletail

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I’m sure it happens in other countries, but in America there is this insane idea that the show must go on regardless of the risk of getting there and the often dubious benefit provided. There is a lot of macho BS about how tough we are and the terrible conditions we drove through. It used to be the same upsmanship over who came to work the sickest.

The reality is that there are very few jobs that are truly essential. I realized this about 20 years ago and from then on, if I was sick I stayed home, if driving conditions were dangerous, I didn’t drive. If my employer doesn’t like it, I’ll find a new job. NO job is worth dying over.

I’ve seen posts from people bragging about risking permanent injury from playing, because they are so tough. That’s not tough, it’s stupid.

Now get off my lawn you young punks!!
 

Rykus

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I had a long distance driving job for a few years, and it is crazy how people respond to the essential vehicles like plows and semi trucks etc. Especially in poor weather (northern Canada)

To see people that are under confident holding up and doing spastic responsive driving in front of or near these heavy trucks on ice is absurd. People think the truck will stop as fast as a 2000lbs little car.. it will not and people die often trying to assert their will above physics.

I was stuck in a line of 100 cars because one person didn't feel safe pulling over and felt safer holding up a lot of people creating anger and dangerous Conditions.

I learned really fast if you are respectfull to the people like truckers on the hyway (it is technically their job site) your life gets really easy.. piss em off and they all talk and can go to lengths to make others aware of your attitude or driving!
 

IronSchef

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there's a false sense of security the driver assumes when they have a 4WD/SUV/TRUCK -- folks are driving out there in the elements like they are immune to the conditions - speeding, tailgating, swerving around slower cars - all because they feel like thier 4WD "can handle the snow/ice". Yeah, 4WD is great to get you out of tht snowed in parking spot - but hit a sheet of ice at 70MPH and it doesnt matter how many wheels are being driven. I see LOTS of vehicles off the road here in snowy/icy Wisconsin conditions - SUVs/Trucks as often as sedans, if not more often.

no matter what you are driving - keep to slower speeds, more distance between vehicles, and stay off the brake pedal!
 

68tele

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A few years ago, we had a killer blizzard that closed all highways, but I still had to get to work. I drove across gravel county roads and across a field to get there, but I had the vehicle to do it.
What was this magical all-weather vehicle?
 

Wheelhouse

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The problem is drivers with widely differing abilities. Bad conditions will show those differences, where normal driving conditions make bad drivers look better. Some people can manage just fine in bad conditions, and some people have no business going out but try anyway.
 

Whatizitman

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I’m inclined to think that the only “rain or shine” institutions should be first responders, emergency/ER, community shelters, homeless resources, etc… And demands on emergency and law enforcement personnel would be far more reasonable if everyone just stayed home, anyway.

Amazon? Waffle House? Delta? I think the world would survive a day or two without them.

106963.gif
 

Whatizitman

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I always had a job that required me to show up...no exceptions. So, I always had a vehicle capable of doing that in any weather out of responsibility.

A few years ago, we had a killer blizzard that closed all highways, but I still had to get to work. I drove across gravel county roads and across a field to get there, but I had the vehicle to do it.

The problem is that too many people lack the skills and proper vehicles to handle severe weather. They should not be on the road and they should not have a high priority job that demanded it.

After-all, when was the last time you heard of the snow plow trucks not rolling in a blizzard? They get sent out because they can handle the weather and the drivers have proper training. The same should be the case for those too essential to just stay home....they need the skills and proper vehicles to deal with the weather.
They should also be paid to do so. It’s part of their job. The average commuter isn’t paid to commute, however. I’m inclined to think that if more companies did start clock time as soon as their workers get in their cars, there would be less commuting in general. Not more.
 

Happy Enchilada

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Adversity (i.e., wars, plagues, etc.) always forces us to come up with new solutions. Just think about the advances in medicine born out of battlefield scenarios. One of the few things about That Whose Name We Dare Not Speak and the accompanying government-mandated lockdown was that many companies discovered that at least some of their employees could work from their homes just fine, thanks. Sure, in every group of people, there are some who will take advantage of a situation like that to goof off and waste everybody's time and not get things done, and truth be told they'd do the same even if they came in to the building every day like before. So this may turn out to be a good way to separate the sheep from the goats.

As for commuting in bad weather, if your job demands it, it's a good idea to have a vehicle with REAL 4WD (not "all-wheel drive") and somewhat aggressive tires - and if you drive a pickup, throw a couple sand tubes in the bed to keep from spinning around. Then realize that 4WD won't STOP you faster, so you need to maintain your interval. But this shouldn't be something you need to explain to adults. And like Teletail said above, people need to know when it's wise to just stay the fork home - either because of a major blizzard or because they're sick and contagious. Employers that aren't enlightened enough to deal with this aren't worth working for.

Me? I drive a 4WD pickup that goes pretty much everywhere I want to go in pretty much any weather. I have a stock of canned goods that would keep us fed for at least a couple weeks. I never let my gas tank get below half in the winter. But all of this probably doesn't count because I have worked in a freelance virtual space with clients I've never seen for the past 20+ years. I'm the ultimate "non-essential" worker. And I like it that way.
 

BigDaddyLH

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there's a false sense of security the driver assumes when they have a 4WD/SUV/TRUCK -- folks are driving out there in the elements like they are immune to the conditions - speeding, tailgating, swerving around slower cars - all because they feel like thier 4WD "can handle the snow/ice". Yeah, 4WD is great to get you out of tht snowed in parking spot - but hit a sheet of ice at 70MPH and it doesnt matter how many wheels are being driven. I see LOTS of vehicles off the road here in snowy/icy Wisconsin conditions - SUVs/Trucks as often as sedans, if not more often.

no matter what you are driving - keep to slower speeds, more distance between vehicles, and stay off the brake pedal!

Around here, when the weather is bad, it seems that pickups drive even faster! It must be a macho thing. On the other hand, what's stuck in ditches or flipped over on the side of the road is mostly pickups.
 

Whatizitman

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I’m sure it happens in other countries, but in America there is this insane idea that the show must go on regardless of the risk of getting there and the often dubious benefit provided. There is a lot of macho BS about how tough we are and the terrible conditions we drove through. It used to be the same upsmanship over who came to work the sickest.

The reality is that there are very few jobs that are truly essential. I realized this about 20 years ago and from then on, if I was sick I stayed home, if driving conditions were dangerous, I didn’t drive. If my employer doesn’t like it, I’ll find a new job. NO job is worth dying over.

I’ve seen posts from people bragging about risking permanent injury from playing, because they are so tough. That’s not tough, it’s stupid.

Now get off my lawn you young punks!!

It’s the old punks that still think it’s a moral and testicle duty to get to work come hell or high water. That frame of mind arguably benefits employers more than workers. I think a whole lotta young punks are starting to see that. The Great Resignation? Not real popular with the “uphill, both ways” demographic.
 

Toto'sDad

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Around here, when the weather is bad, it seems that pickups drive even faster! It must be a macho thing. On the other hand, what's stuck in ditches or flipped over on the side of the road is mostly pickups.
If we had four snow storms a year here in Bakersfield, it would reduce the population by fifty percent. Of course, those who stayed home would increase it, so...
 

Whatizitman

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I had a long distance driving job for a few years, and it is crazy how people respond to the essential vehicles like plows and semi trucks etc. Especially in poor weather (northern Canada)

To see people that are under confident holding up and doing spastic responsive driving in front of or near these heavy trucks on ice is absurd. People think the truck will stop as fast as a 2000lbs little car.. it will not and people die often trying to assert their will above physics.

I was stuck in a line of 100 cars because one person didn't feel safe pulling over and felt safer holding up a lot of people creating anger and dangerous Conditions.

I learned really fast if you are respectfull to the people like truckers on the hyway (it is technically their job site) your life gets really easy.. piss em off and they all talk and can go to lengths to make others aware of your attitude or driving!

Or even better, just stay home!
 




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