First Snow of the Season

This is Fairbanks, Alaska. It snows A LOT here. You might think that drivers here would be pros at driving in snow and ice, and yet…

The featured image was taken yesterday – our first real snow of the season. Fortunately, no humans were seriously injured in these shenanigans – only the case of Barqs Root Beer that had not been adequately secured within the vehicle. It did, however, delay the start of our clinic as the doc that I work with stopped to help the driver out of the car – through the sunroof, as none of the doors would open.

The weather forecast had been accurate, for a change, and we were warned to expect about 6 inches of snow, starting at 5 AM. Of course, this early in the season, no one really wanted to believe it, (except my friend Stephanie’s youngest son, who wanted to know how much more snow we would need before he can go snow-machining) but that’s really no excuse to take the ostrich approach. According to the Alaska Troopers there were 14 collision calls here in Fairbanks yesterday and “numerous” calls for help with slide-offs and roll-overs.

We have laws here about how early you can put your studded tires on, so I have to wait a bit longer, but the folks who use regular snow tires are going nuts. I talked to my mechanic yesterday (sadly, my poor old Xterra is already in the shop for another wickedly expensive repair) and he said that they are already changing about 30 sets of tires a day. It’s huge business here in Fairbanks.

When driving in the ice and snow people often only consider the safety outside, but the Barq’s Rootbeer above made me consider how important it can be to secure the items inside the car. If it were only your own driving you had to worry about, that would be great, but there are an awful lot of other drivers out there, and when they make bad decisions it doesn’t just affect them. You’ll certainly want to place your groceries someplace safe, but also consider the books and toys your children bring into the car. You wouldn’t want them kept safe in their car-seat, only to be injured by a flying toy if an accident occurs.

By Monday we’re supposed to have 50 degrees with rain, so that should be sufficient to banish the snow for another week or two. In the meantime, I’m hoping the roads are clear and we can get our errands done without incident. Just more life at the end of the road…

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