Last night I had the pleasure of driving my car less than a mile from the nearby metro to our apartment, during a heavy snow, in rush hour. Normally I walk, but this area is bad about keeping sidewalks clear in snowy weather, so driving is sometimes the safer option. It took me an hour and a half to cover the distance, at a blazing average speed of 2/3 mph.
Along the way I learned some unwritten rules of driving in DC snowstorms:
- Traditional traffic patterns no longer apply. If a road once traveled east-to-west, it now goes west-to-east.
- Ditto with traffic lights: let’s just collectively ignore them.
- When traffic is blocked, do attempt, and fail, to perform a three-point turn. This will ensure that traffic in front of you will begin moving again, and traffic behind you will get to participate in pushing your car out of a snowbank.
- At random, get out of your car and just leave it there. Say, in the middle lane of a three-lane highway.
- If three cars are already abandoned at various places halfway up a short, inclined on-ramp, try it yourself anyway. They probably just weren’t doing it correctly.