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Wicked Good Guide to:

Boston Winter Driving

By Barry Shein

1. If the weather is lousy and conditions are terrible every other driver on the road should realize this and give you the right of way. It's obvious why you want to get where you're going fast, just look at what's going on out there!

2. The worse the driving conditions the less important normal rules of the road are (see #1.) So don't stop for red lights or stop signs you might skid and lose control or worse get stuck. Remember, *they* (the other drivers) also know damned well how rotten driving is and should be cautious of you!

3. If you have lousy tires and a car that just won't handle in the snow well hey that doesn't mean life should just come to a total standstill, right? Just because other people can afford (or like to throw away their money on) good snow tires and car choices which acknowledge that they live in new england and it just might snow one day doesn't mean you have to. So what if it's freezing slush out there and your tires weren't even very good *last* year, toast with your eggs is a must and you were out of english muffins and well toasted bread is just not the same. Fair is fair.

4. You certainly didn't ask those pedestrians to go out in that driving, freezing rain so why in the heck should they expect you to yield them the right of way even if technically they have the right of way (like when you're making a turn and they have the light.) I mean, it may be warm and dry in your car but let's face it the stereo just isn't quite up to snuff (the heating system does kind of emit a white noise which interferes with sound quality) and you forgot to bring the good CD's so you're stuck listening to an old Phil Collins recording you fished out of the glove compartment, you don't even know how it got there. Everyone suffers in this weather! Lay on the horn, they'll get the idea that you mean business.

5. Remember that if you manage to get your car out of a parking spot after a snowfall, even if just an inch of snow, that parking spot is yours until June. Be sure to mark it with an old chair and if even so much as that elderly couple's daughter stops in it for a minute to drop them off get out there fast and hose down her car and see how she likes a good thick coating of ice. Since you're likely to be out of the house when this happens you might consider paying off some of the neighborhood brats to do this for you. I mean, you're a TAXPAYER, you have a RIGHT to that spot.

6. On a similar note don't forget that people who drive snowplows and sanders are PUBLIC SERVANTS, you pay their salaries. Don't for a second get out of their way or consider not interfering with what they're trying to do or take a slightly longer route so they can finish up that street. In fact, be sure to get steamed that they're not doing it faster! As we pointed out in #5, you're a TAXPAYER!

7. No one likes to be out in the lousy weather. So when you're doing something essential like returning a videotape remember that double or triple parking is ok, they'll find their way around you and just because you're forcing two lanes of traffic to feed into one on some slippery, busy street it's not your fault, you're not god and you don't control the weather. See number 4 above, for heaven's sake whatever you do you don't want to become a dreaded *pedestrian*!

8. If you do get into a fender-bender or manage to slide into some other guy's unattended car remember -- you didn't ask them to go out on the road tonight so it's not your fault! In fact, you didn't ask anyone to be out on the road tonight and that pretty much sums it up. They should take that into account whatever they do and recognize your rights in every situation.

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