People in the South do not have the first clue how to drive in the snow.

Or in Seattle, either. But in the South it’s even worse because in most places it only snows once a decade or even less frequently. (Or basically never for where we live now.)

I grew up in Lake City, Florida. It snowed there in 1989 for the first time in several decades. My grandfather and I walked the mile from our house to the local grocery store. On the way, we saw a half-dozen or more car accidents. The snow was only 2-3 inches at that point.

Strangely, some people actually seemed to be driving faster than normal. Nervousness? Floridians also seem to do that in rain, too, so I have no idea. Here it seems to be, “If in doubt, speed up!” Especially if it is an SUV.*

Back in 1989 I remember watching people wildly oversteer and thinking – correctly – that even though I didn’t have my license yet I could’ve done better than they did. Since then I’ve driven in show quite a few times and never had any problems, even on crappy tires. I don’t enjoy it, but it’s not that hard.

It was chaos in Lake City, though. Just craziness. People would accelerate to normal speeds then brake at normal-weather distances and then slide madly into one another, never seeming to understand that snow is about a thousand times as slippery as even rain-slicked roads.

Later on after the bad drivers were all weeded out, my grandfather drove us the 30 miles to our cabin on the river with no problem at all.

*I was driving in New York State one time in the snow and an SUV passed me doing 20-30mph above the speed limit, barely keeping traction and almost running me off the road. Of course they had the attitude typical of many SUV drivers that, “I’m in an SUV, so I am immune to the laws of physics!” As they passed, I thought, I’m going to be seeing them on the side of the road soon. Sure enough about two miles later, there it was, flipped on the edge of the road. All the occupants appeared to be ok so I crawled by slowly and being a bigger asshole then than I am now, I honked and flipped them the bird as I passed.