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The cost of driving 55 mph in snow and ice: Professor details effect of road salting

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  • #16
    I lived in Ohio (yuk) for a while when in the military. Their answer to their pitiful snowfall accumulations a few times a season was to dump massive amounts of salt on the road, rarely with any sand included.

    Most of my cars of more than a few years ago could not use chains due to wheel well clearance. I did have a geo quite a while ago. My house now is up a somewhat steep driveway with a slight curve on it, requiring a turn not quite 90 degrees from the road to ascend. There was a critical speed to turn off the main road with my Geo when it was snowy or icy that would work. I did not have chains for it. Too fast and I'm slid off into the lawn. Too slow and I'm stuck part way up the hill going nowhere. Just right, Goldilocks, and I'm in the garage if it was not too slippery or snow too deep. Then I bought my first Subaru. Amazing. It virtually walked up in deep snow at any (slow) speed I liked. I'm now on my fourth Subaru between me and my wife with two Foresters in the garage.

    Anyone interested in purchasing a new Subaru should look into the Subaru VIP program, wherein if you are a member of one of several outdoor related organizations (LNT, Ski Patrol, ASPCA, etc.), you get a no questions asked considerable discount (2% below invoice, whatever than means). Joining LNT for a small annual contribution has saved me many thousands of dollars over recent years with each Subaru purchase.
    "Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman


    • #17
      Chains sure change a car. One won't want to drive fast but they'll get you through mud and snow that would stop you otherwise and they really aren't expensive.
      Smart truckers carry them, school bus's have them, loggers put them on skidders which should say something, they are required in the rockies during snowstorms, farmers put them on tractors, and even on garden sized tractors where they might be only used for aeration, the traction they give is awesome.
      Too, nothing stops a vehicle on ice/slippery snow like chains, even studs which I run every winter.

      And even the cheap chains where only 2 to 4 pieces crossover the tread can get you out of a jam.