Toe Knee, King of the Ice Weasels, Sends Royal Decree about Driving On Ice

Yes, the weasel is out of the sack.  I am king of the Ice Weasels. (As if there was ever any doubt.)

As the Ice Weasel king I would like to speak candidly with humans everywhere about driving on icy roads.  I realize that I technically have no hold over the human realms, but I need not remind any of you what my Ice Weasels are capable of.  None of us want a repeat of the Rat Lake Zamboni incident of '93.  So you would do well to pay heed to my words.  
As lord of the land I am required to travel far and wide to oversee my subjects and as you can imagine I encounter a wide variety of road conditions which create new and exciting ways to discover idiots upon which I will eventually unleash weasley wrath.  However lately with all the driving I've been doing my subjects are overstretched, and I really would like to let them spend some time with their weasel wives and mini weaslets, so I'm sending out some hints and suggestions to you drivers so that you need not worry about having your appendages gnawed off sometime in the new-year (we're that backed up, really). 
• Driving is (or should be) fun, but that fun is about calculated risk and icy roads are – by anyone's calculations – unacceptable risk when doing over 100kph. (That's 60mph for you 'mericans.)  It's great fun when you're fish-tailing around 90º bends at 3am in-town, but on the highway it's another story.  When the road is icy there is no excuse at all for driving over 110, doubly so if your wife is in labor in the back seat.  Don't be an idiot.
• Ice is sneaky, sometimes more sneaky then my subjects, which is why I decreed that Ice Weasels must train in The Elusive Black Ice Stye, an exclusive philosophical martial art which they use on those who displease me.  Ice may be white, but sometimes it is not and you really have no idea how much traction you have.  When in doubt find a safe spot to perform a brake test.  If your ABS kicks in when you breathe seductively on the brake pedal then Ice has snuck under your tires and you need to take precautions.
• Brakes are NOT your friend when on ice.  Some mornings you could cut my brake lines and this would only be a minor inconvenience.  On ice your default assumption should be that not only will your brakes fail to work, but that everyone else's will too.  This mindset will save your life and help to keep your insurance premiums down.  I know this because I meet many Lawyers and Insurance Salesmen at King's Court.  Things that will work better than brakes are gears, snow, not pressing the gas pedal and soft shoulder ditches.  Even on an automatic transmission vehicles still have one or two gears below drive, using these gears to slow yourself on ice is an invaluable technique.  Snow often but not always accompanies ice, snow can often be found at the edges of the road you are driving on, by letting the right set of tires drag in the snow you can slow your vehicle without touching the brakes.  Take care using this technique on roads with steep shoulders, this drag on one side of your vehicle will attempt to suck you in, and then you'll be nestled in a soft fluffy snowbank in the ditch, not the worst place to be, but not always the best either.  But soft shoulder ditches are great as a way to stop your vehicle when no other means will do the trick.  Try to find a spot some other ice-driver hasn't parked already.
• Driving slow is smart, but driving really slow with no regard for the other motorists is fucking inconsiderate.  By all means drive the speed you feel comfortable, but if that speed is well below what the other people on the road are doing take the time to occasionally pull over and let them go past.  It's difficult to pass on ice, accelerating can cause fishtailing which can cause all sorts of mishaps, and sometimes the second lane on a double-lane highway is covered in even worse snow or ice, exacerbating the issue.  Don't force the motorists behind you to become idiots, if you're driving 30kph below the speed limit and the line of cars behind you is stacked up to the horizon for Christ's sake let them past you!

In blizzards large oncoming trucks cause white-outs in their wake.  Smart motorists slow down before these large trucks meet them to compensate for this lack of visibility.  Any drivers behind them would be wise to anticipate these sorts of sensible procedures.  On the same token, if you're turning left onto a rural road off the highway and there's no pull out lane or oncoming traffic but there are cars behind you; pull into the oncoming lane as you slow for the turn.  That's considerate, and might save you the aggravation of being rear-ended if the guy behind you isn't as smart as you are.
So practice these techniques.  Otherwise if my loyal minions do not get to you then natural selection probably will.

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About Helmsman

Importing a Vox Blog.
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3 Responses to Toe Knee, King of the Ice Weasels, Sends Royal Decree about Driving On Ice

  1. I will take heed your advice for winter driving.

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