Letters to the Editor

What you had to say about snow and the South

Northbound, left, and southbound morning traffic on Manns Chapel Road at Great Ridge Parkway creeps along in northern Chatham county, NC on the still ice and snow covered secondary road, Wednesday, February 18, 2015.
Northbound, left, and southbound morning traffic on Manns Chapel Road at Great Ridge Parkway creeps along in northern Chatham county, NC on the still ice and snow covered secondary road, Wednesday, February 18, 2015. hlynch@newsobserver.com

We noticed you had a lot to say on the News & Observer Facebook page about “You’re right, Southerners can’t drive in the snow. So what?” (Jan. 3) so we rounded up the top comments from the conversation here.

Southern differences

As a Northerner, I can tell you that they aren’t any better at driving in the snow up there as you are in the South. What many Northerners fail to realize is that when it snows in the South, it melts right away turning it into ice, instead of staying snow as it does in the North. That makes the driving conditions way more dangerous down here.

Paul Vant

‘Can’t take anymore’

As a transplant from the far north, SW Virginia, I find myself often feeling that I have come to the land of the worst drivers in the world. But I have never been to Boston. But in Raleigh, I find no one uses turn signals, no one can merge, which involves getting up to the speed limit of the main road and getting into traffic, and no one can engineer roads, like I-440 onto Wade Ave., or I-40 and I-540 in RTP.

So when I heard snow was coming, I begged to leave work early. Not because of snow but because of the guy who drives 45 on 440 in perfect conditions at 6 a.m. with no one in front of him. My vocal cords can’t take anymore.

Nelson Eric Boyce

Think about it

There is more snow removal equipment in the metro Philadelphia area than the entire state of North Carolina. I think some Yanks better think on that for a few minutes.

Lanny Hoskins

Different conditions

We have more black ice (transparent against the asphalt) and less equipment to clear back roads. Too dangerous. We stock up, go home and don’t think twice about someone else’s opinion because if they stay here long enough they will come to understand why.

Angela Simms Baldwin

Just don’t drive

I just wish more people realized that they are terrible winter weather drivers and would just stay home. I think that’s really where the problem is. Southerners may know they’re terrible at driving in the snow, but think that because they drive a large truck, they’ll be OK. Or because they drive an SUV, their vehicle has some sort of magical powers that allow it to stop quickly on ice.

Jenni Dickson McClure

More equipment

Northern states have the equipment and budgets to deal with it. I was raised in St Paul, Minn., and moved south 40 years ago. The big problem people make is not leaving enough space between vehicles. Slow down and use common sense.

Craig Johnson

Spot the Southerners

I moved to New York City for law school, and when Hurricane Sandy came it was immediately obvious who was originally from North Carolina or Florida.

People are good at stuff they do all the time and bad at stuff they don’t do much.

Dale Islandsmith

The ‘truth’

I lived in Chicago for 10-plus years. First storm every year – cars skidding off the road, sliding thru intersections, etc., etc., and every storm after that, too. And it is FLAT there. Transplants from snowy places forget this ... they just remember how well they think they drove while back in the frozen lands. It’s as if there are no tow trucks in the Midwest or New England, hauling crashed cars out of snow banks and pulling apart cars fendered together. All winter long. Y’all laugh all you want, we know the truth.

Andrea Atkin

Transplant understands

As a transplant from N.J. to N.C. I was so laughing why there were so many cars in the ditch or how they couldn’t get up a little hill, but being here for 12-plus years I get it. The road material they use is not the same, even in rain it gets really slippery. Also Raleigh has one plow which they have upped the past few years.

Gail Sherman

No experience or equipment

As a Michigan transplant, I know better than to poke fun. People here don’t have the experience or equipment to be comfortable driving in snow. I stay home when it snows here, but up north I’ll go out in almost anything. I am still afraid to drive in the crazy hard rains down here. It’s all what one is used to.

Patricia S. Westfield

Take more action

It isn’t that the cold bothers locals, it is that the triangle has winter storms at least once a year, but everyone acts like it is novel. The cities/counties don’t properly treat roads and walkways despite the fact that this is a regular occurrence. The solution is to let everything melt which is a big issue for people that HAVE to drive because of work.

Ashley Ko

Plowing problems

Neither can northerners. They are used to cleared roads. The percentage of drivers in the north and south that can drive on unplowed snow is nearly equal in fact.

Richard Spandau

Use different salt

I’m from the North, and I live in Johnston County. I don’t know about other areas, but they don’t use salt like they do up North. The salt is MUCH better than the brine they put down. Using the salt may eliminate school delays or closings due to refreezing.

Mary Nelson Cruz

‘So what’?

It becomes a “so what” when they go smugly zipping down the street, try to stop and crash into the back of my car.

Susie Ries Barnes

Equipment costly

Everybody who wants to pay the taxes to cover the cost of all that equipment, supplies and personnel to run it and pay the overtime, raise your hands! Step right up and write that check.

Ellen Dagenhart

Ice not nice

I grew up in N.C. and have been living in the Chicago area for 27 years. Northerners in the South need to remember that the South does not have hundreds of snowplows and tons of road salt. Southern snows also are icy and not powder.

My kids never missed school because of snow, because crews are out plowing and salting all night so that we can get out and on with our lives.

Ann Wheless Painchaud

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