I learned to drive when I was seven years old in my dad's old pickup truck. Sitting on a speaker because I couldn't see over the steering wheel, I learned how to do a three-point turn on the railroad tracks behind my house. Ever since then, my dad still teaches me how to drive every time he's in car. He tells me I'm too heavy on the brakes (which I am), he tells me I'm going too fast (because he drives like a turtle), and as annoying as a backseat driver is, last night I called my dad just to thank him for teaching me how to drive.
Philly got hit with quite the snowstorm yesterday that I don't think anyone was expecting. Sitting in school, I watched the snow accumulate and knew it was going to be a long drive home. By the time school dismissed (at normal time because Philly refuses to ever let out early), there was already almost three inches of snow and no end in sight. I picked my roommates up at the subway station near the school I was working at, and we started our trek home.
What is normally a 20 minute drive home, just seven miles outside of the city, took two and a half hours. When there isn't a snowstorm Philly drivers make their own laws, but in a snowstorm, laws really don't exist. There were people driving down one ways the wrong way, people driving through peoples yards to get around traffic jams, Uber drivers creating third lanes in a two lane area, it was an absolute nightmare. The time on our GPS kept going up as we got closer to home, it was absolutely miserable.
But lucky for us, my dad taught me how to drive in the snow, even without four wheel drive. I learned important things like when your car is sliding on ice or slush, put your car in neutral because drive pulls the car forward even with the brakes and neutral will make the transmission stop turning the wheels, and that you should pump the brakes instead of slamming them, and most importantly, to make it up a hill with only front wheel drive, DON'T STOP HALFWAY UP THE HILL (and keep your speed consistent). As some lady in her BMW sat spinning on a hill while a line of cars sat behind her waiting, the skills my dad gave me allowed me to wait at the bottom, get a "running start" and pass the 10 cars that yelled at me not to go up the hill without all wheel drive. We made it to the top effortlessly and I waved as they pushed this lady to the top.
Finally back in Manayunk, we saw three school busses that slid off the road and an inexperienced driver had the back roads blocked. After two men tried to help her by pushing her up a hill in the wrong direction of the one way street, I offered to drive her car to the bottom of the hill for her. I wasn't afraid of the slushy hill because I was two blocks from home and sick of being in my car and it was the only path to my house so I drove a stranger's car down the hill for her and then ran back for my own car as people thanked me for letting up traffic.
Moral of the story is simple. If you didn't have a dad that taught you how to drive in the snow, stay home. The people that didn't know how to drive yesterday were the ones causing the traffic jams. Drive slow in the snow, read the road, and remember that laws still apply in the snow (@ the uber driver who cursed me out for not moving through a green light when traffic was stopped on the other side). And if you absolutely must drive in the snow and you suck at it, get a car with four wheel drive.. it's really not that hard. So thank you to my dad who taught me how to be a great driver so that I could be Manayunk's hero last night. When I have kids, they will absolutely be learning how to drive in the snow so that they can be better drivers and be able to make it home in any situation. xoxo
Author - mallory
I've always lived a wild life, so here I am to document it for the world... be ready for some fun adventures, xoxo.