Daily Archives: December 14, 2010

Bad Traffic and Bad Drivers

When traffic is bad, you would thing people would pay more attention and drive with more caution.  But, I swear, bad traffic brings out the bad drivers.  Three and a half hours on the road today to drive what is normally a 25 minute drive.  One guy was straddling the center of two lanes and weaving back and forth.  I could see he was holding his cell phone with his right hand, and a cigarette with the left.

Where is a cop when you need one?

Another kid comes zooming up to the intersection where there is a red light.  He slams on the brakes and comes sliding to a halt about 2 feet behind the car in front of him.  I’ve driven enough in ice and snow to know you do NOT know how slick a section of road will be.  That kid was lucky.  He is lucky it wasn’t any more slick else he would have rear-ended the car in front.  And, in such a case, I would have waited for the NY State Trooper to arrive so I could tell the story.

Asinine.  Pure asinine.

When driving in 11F temperatures, with falling snow, you have to remember, salt on the roads doesn’t help.  If you don’t understand the chemistry, let me explain it like this.  Salt is a solid when it is under 1474F.  That’s REALLY hot.  Water is a solid when it is under 32F.  However, when mixed in the right proportions (right proportions being key) then the ionic solution of the two has a melting point of minus 6F.  That is in OPTIMAL (perfect, lab controlled) conditions.  In reality, it is only good to about 15F when in the correct mix. 

That is important, when in the correct mix.

So, if you put too much salt on the road, you get icy or slick conditions at even higher temperatures.  Remember, best case scenario for salting a road is 15F.  So, if it is 11F outside, you are dealing with slick roads and it doesn’t much matter if the town or county is salting the roads.

In other words, if it is under 15F outside, drive CAREFULL and not like a fool folks.

(Also, if it is that cold, don’t waste your money and time throwing salt all over.  It will only get tracked into your house and car and ruin your floors and floorboards of your car.)

By the way, calcium chloride is better than salt when it comes to its melting properties.  However, it is slicker and when mixed with water becomes soap-like.  It is only good to about zero farenheit.  And, unless mixed with a little sand or gravel may not be a good option for roads.  Also, it is expensive and damages brick and concrete.  And, most any ice melter is going to be harmful to your car.  When it comes to any salt used to melt ice, more is NOT better.  In fact, more can raise the melting point thus making it more costly and more damaging.

Okay… I’ve got off topic.  Drive SLOWER and don’t tailgate when it is this cold.  The roads will be slick no matter what.

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Now that you’ve got a lecture on why you need to drive slower… today was quite the snowy day.  According to one account, this is the worst storm since 1989.  I didn’t live here in 1989, so I can’t relate.  I did check, and total accumulation for today according to NOAA for Palmyra is 5″.  It seems deeper, but that is because accumulation is measured in a non-drifted environment and not on the side of the roads or sidewalks where it gets piled up because people pushing the snow there.  Again, we’ve got a grand total of 5″ of accumulation to date.   They are also estimating that when this storm is done, we might have 8″ of accumulation.

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We only had one session at the temple tonight.  I spent the entire evening working in initiatory except for a brief moment when President Strausburg asked me to see if I could figure out why the security cameras wouldn’t move.  It took me all of about 60 seconds to notice that the camera joy stick was acting more like a computer mouse.  I found a “shift” button was on, so I pressed it and the LED went off, and that resolved the problem.

Sometimes it takes a computer geek.  (If someone thinks I just admitted to being a geek, I will deny it.)