Author Topic: Another driving near mishaap  (Read 4967 times)

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Offline Bob Marino

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Another driving near mishaap
« on: June 23, 2018, 06:14 AM »


  So, the other night  I'm driving north on the Harlem River Drive (NYC) onto the elevated section (2 lanes) which takes you to the Bronx or to the GW Bridge. Going with the flow ~ 30 mph. Somehow the SUV in front of me must have let loose with a orange metal hand truck that is bouncing a couple of car lengths in front of me. Since I'm very aware of the inconsiderate idiots and ricer boy drivers, I pay particular attention to this short stretch of road, keeping more than proper distance from the car in front of me. I slowed down quickly - not jamming the brakes, but come to a full stop. Of course being NYC, the horns started honking within 2 seconds, of course (being a Brooklyn guy living in NJ) I did the intelligent, mature thing and shouted a few choice words out the window. Got into the other lane and drove on home, unscathed. Over in 30 seconds.

 I guess I dodged a bullet as a second or two of inattention would have lodged that cart right under the engine - with all the ensuing damage and would have been a nightmare trying to dislodge it if it got wedged - absolutely no room to drive to. I said it before and I'll say it again - more than anything else, distance is your best hedge against this (and most other) types of accidents.
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Offline deepcreek

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2018, 09:12 AM »
Good advice, Bob, and glad your precaution got you through it safely.

One of the best things I ever did was take defensive driving.  Learning how to watch out for the idiots has saved me from countless accidents.

I highly recommend a defensive driving course for anyone who has not had one.  It will change the way you drive.

Also, if it's in the bed of your truck or trailer - TIE IT DOWN!!!

Gravity does not work and neither does the human clamp when you're transporting a mattress on top of your car.
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Offline JD2720

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2018, 09:19 AM »
Bob, I am glad you are OK. Surprised you did not get run over when you slowed down.

This guy in Indy was not so lucky. He was setting at a stop light & gets killed by a flying off the interstate.
Indy crash



Offline aloysius

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2018, 09:55 AM »
Many, many years ago I used to "moonlight" as a weekend motorbike rider training instructor, for both learner & provisional level grades.  As per the then current protocol, I always taught the "two second" following rule.  I usually try to adopt it as well in my daily driving/riding too.

My daughters, who've some years ago now both been through both levels of instruction themselves, tell me that the "new" rule is 3 seconds.  Is this correct?  If so, then why?  3 seconds is in my estimation a bit too far behind, & only serves to encourage dangerous overtaking moves from following traffic.

Does anybody else either share or dissent from this "new" 3 second following distance rule?  If yes, then perhaps you could share the rationale behind it....
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Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2018, 10:31 AM »
Many, many years ago I used to "moonlight" as a weekend motorbike rider training instructor, for both learner & provisional level grades.  As per the then current protocol, I always taught the "two second" following rule.  I usually try to adopt it as well in my daily driving/riding too.

My daughters, who've some years ago now both been through both levels of instruction themselves, tell me that the "new" rule is 3 seconds.  Is this correct?  If so, then why?  3 seconds is in my estimation a bit too far behind, & only serves to encourage dangerous overtaking moves from following traffic.

Does anybody else either share or dissent from this "new" 3 second following distance rule?  If yes, then perhaps you could share the rationale behind it....


Maybe because 2 seconds is enough if paying attention but many people are not these days.  And granted the paying attention should just be part of the deal but instructors  / driving classes know otherwise.

People count at differing rates? And it has been discovered that many "2 second counters" are a little too quick? When only counting a couple seconds at whatever driving speed a slight variation will be a large distance.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think that not all defensive driving classes are the same. I took a couple over the years to get an insurance discount. They were several hours of pure boredom and got nothing useful out of them.  Realistically they should concentrate on actual defensive driving techniques and forget the rest. Could be about half hour of truly useful things. 

Seth
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 10:37 AM by SRSemenza »

Offline rst

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2018, 11:16 AM »
I've logged more than 1.5 million miles in the last 38 years, killed four Ford vans in the process.  At least 50% of the drivers on the road couldn't pass a driving test.  Couple that with idiots that son't know hoe to secure a load and it's amazing that there are not more accidents.

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2018, 11:50 AM »
I haven't had any recent close calls with things coming off other vehicles but a long time ago I had three .................  all in the same year.

  1). On three lanes at 50 - 60 mph ................... pickup in front of me with the old extension ladder stuck in the bed over the tailgate trick. What ever was supposed to be keeping it there wasn't (probably the other old put the spare tire on it trick). Anyway the ladder comes out. First, one section slides out like a rocket launch. Hits the end of the rope and pulls the other section out. This two piece missile is head for my windshield. I nail the breaks , the ladder lands on the pavement and starts to spin stretched out all the way like a bolo sliding along the road! Luckily I had enough distance and room to dodge.


  2.) Stopped at a light behind a pickup with a cap and cap rack. Two or three sheets of drywall on top. Light changes truck goes drywall lifts cartwheels in the air and smashes a few feet in front of my car. I just happened to see it start to lift and didn't move forward when the light changed.


  3). Again ladder in truck bed on multi-lane highway. I saw the ladder and thought   'I don't want to be behind this guy'    , changed lanes, almost immediately after the lane change the ladder came flying out (in one piece this time), landed in the lane right where I would have been.


   Bob, glad you were able to dodge that cart.

    Seth

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2018, 12:29 PM »
I will admit to losing a ladder in traffic.  I used to carry 3 extension ladders on my trailer and the first thing that I would do when getting to a job was take the ratchet strap off.  So on the day in question I had taken off two ladders and mid-way thru the day needed to quickly run and get some plastic before the thunderstorm rolled in.   Take off and hustle to the big box store.  Happened to look out my rear view window just as the ladder came off the trailer and hit the pavement.  Luckily it stayed in one lane and the closest driveway had seen it coming and was way, way, way far away. 

If I take the straps off now I drape them on my steering wheel as a reminder.

Peter

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2018, 12:49 PM »
Great idea Peter!

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2018, 01:05 PM »
I will admit to losing a ladder in traffic.  I used to carry 3 extension ladders on my trailer and the first thing that I would do when getting to a job was take the ratchet strap off.  So on the day in question I had taken off two ladders and mid-way thru the day needed to quickly run and get some plastic before the thunderstorm rolled in.   Take off and hustle to the big box store.  Happened to look out my rear view window just as the ladder came off the trailer and hit the pavement.  Luckily it stayed in one lane and the closest driveway had seen it coming and was way, way, way far away. 

If I take the straps off now I drape them on my steering wheel as a reminder.

Peter

Yeah, mistakes happen. But you are actually securing the load and forgot. The guys doing the spare tire thing or something not good enough to hold , or just thinking the ladder will stay in the truck all on it's own are not even attempting to truly make sure the load is secure.

Seth

Offline rst

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2018, 03:36 PM »
Worst one I ever saw was outside DC, five lanes, raining, car stopped in the center lane, guy is out of the car playing with wipers, be a miracle if he survived.  Even in rain, if your doing less than 15 miles over the limit your dragging your anchor.

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2018, 04:14 PM »
Worst one I ever saw was outside DC, five lanes, raining, car stopped in the center lane, guy is out of the car playing with wipers, be a miracle if he survived.  Even in rain, if your doing less than 15 miles over the limit your dragging your anchor.

Yeah, it's incredible!

Just remembered another one. 70 mph on a two lane highway. Vehicle pulls over onto shoulder (not far enough either) a few hundred yards ahead. I start slowing and there is a car right next to me. Person opens the door into the lane and hops out right into the lane in front of me. Not hugging the car, right  in   the lane by several feet. No real effort to even get out of the way .... just oblivious! Only option was to lock it up.  Even if I had slammed the car next to me in an attempt to go around I don't think it would've avoided hitting her.  If anything had been just a bit different .......... wet road, 100 feet less, heavy traffic, ................... tragedy.  Luck canceled stupidity in this case. Thank goodness.

Seth

Offline rst

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2018, 04:21 PM »
goes back to one of my life mantras...the more people I come in contact with the better I like my dogs

Offline harry_

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2018, 09:13 PM »
One of the things that was drilled into my head as a young man was 'If you asked the question, you have to check'.
Meaning that if you're driving down the road and the thought occurs to you "did I tie off my load/ladder?", you NEED to pull over and check. period.

The other was "lean it or secure it". Meaning that if you are done with the ladder and bringing it to the truck, either secure it RIGHT NOW or leave it leaning so that you (or anyone else for that matter) can see that it is not secured.

---

Back in my telecom construction days, and before cell phones I might add, I was once following one of the bucket trucks that lost a full roll of 5/16" guy wire off the back on the highway. Fortunately, I say it coming and began to block 2 of the lanes behind it (and me). When one of those wooden reels hits the ground from 4-5 feet up at 60 mph, it does not break. It EXPLODES!

Ever see a 5000' slinky?  [scared] Not a pretty sight. Clearing that #900 mess of the highway was no fun either. Nor was the safety report. [crying]
Disclaimer: This post is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. Void where prohibited. Some assembly required. Batteries not included. Contents may settle during shipment. Use only as directed. No other warranty expressed or implied. This is not an offer to sell securities. May be too intense for some viewers. No user-serviceable parts inside. Subject to change without notice. One size fits all (very poorly).

Offline Tinker

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2018, 03:58 AM »
The faster the traffic, the more space I leave in front of me. I also had been taught early on to expect the other driver to do the wrong thing. If I have to slow own in heavy, fast moving traffic, as quickly as possible, I hit the four-way flashers or switch my turn signal back and forth until I can see traffic behind coming to a slowdown or stop.  I not only want a cushion in front, but a cushion behind.
Tinker

 
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Offline Bob Marino

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2018, 07:04 AM »
The faster the traffic, the more space I leave in front of me. I also had been taught early on to expect the other driver to do the wrong thing. If I have to slow own in heavy, fast moving traffic, as quickly as possible, I hit the four-way flashers or switch my turn signal back and forth until I can see traffic behind coming to a slowdown or stop.  I not only want a cushion in front, but a cushion behind.
Tinker

 Agree, Wayne. The faster the traffic, the more space I tend to leave. I also glance ahead to see of there are any slowdowns looming. I think the most bare knuckling driving for me is when I'm approaching a bridge or tunnel or some type of slowdown and I'm in the lane that happens to be moving faster. I just know and expect some driver in the slower lanes to cut in front of me - often regardless of how close in front of me he will be. This of course is a very much of matter of driving in the NYC/NJ area - expect the unexpected - and it only getting worse as traffic increases every year. It wasn't so long ago, that no one would ever switch lanes, crossing the double white lines in a tunnel. Now, its very common.
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Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2018, 07:24 AM »
Boy, did I think of this thread yesterday when I had one of my twice a year opportunities to experience the driving pleasures offered by Northern Virgina and the D.C. area.

My identical trips can take from 2.5 to 6.5 hours depending on the traffic conditions.  I cringe seeing the van driving 70 mph or more with a stack of ladders 3 or 4 ft high on a roof rack.  Accident avoidance in those top heavy situation would lead to turmoil - the vehicular version of Pick up Sticks.

I only had 6 instances of what Bob just wrote about just above on one leg of the trip (the morning commute), but had none on the return.

Into and out of the bowels of driving Hades.  Priceless.

Peter

Offline Tinker

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2018, 08:09 AM »
On thruways, When traffic is heavy, I tend to travel  in either the left  lane or the right lane, almost never in the center lane.  That minimizes the directions problems can come from. Sometimes, traffic seems to come in bunches. I watch for spaces in between the bunches and try to keep space both in front of me and in back of me. If a bunch slows down in front of me, I try to get into the right lane until I determine if there  is a problem up ahead.  If a bunch is gaining from behind, I try to get into the right lane until I determine the the best way to get thru the bunch ahead of me. I just try to keep as much space all around me as possible. If I spot a crazy driver who is weaving in and out and all around traffic, I just give that  driver plenty of room.  Nothing is going to change that driver's habits, so I just figure it best to stay out of the way.

I had to laugh at Bob's solution to horn blowing. I am sort of the opposite.  I never yell at the horn blowers.  I slow down to agrevate.  MY cousin, Bob, had a solution.  When a person started blowing the horn behind him, He would wait until he next stop lite, or stop sign, stop and get out of his car and walk back to the horn blower and ask "Is there anything I can help you with?" Of course the reaction might have been somewhat explosive, but Cousin Bob would just walk back to his own car and drive away laughing loud and long.
Tinker
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Online GoingMyWay

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2018, 09:08 AM »
I got myself a dash cam after we got rear ended and sandwiched in the middle sitting at a stop light in October 2015.  We obviously were not at fault as we were completely stopped, but both insurance companies asked how close we were to the car in front of us.  Evidently you're supposed to leave a good distance between you and the car in front of you when you stop at a red light.  I wanna say they said something like 1 whole car length - I kept thinking to myself NOBODY leaves that much space in between when stopped at a light.

It's good piece of mind for me having the dash cam.  I haven't really caught anything really super spectacular, nor have I had to use it as evidence for an accident that I have been in (knock on wood).  I did manage to record a motorcycle wipe out (I believe he hit some gravel, but I'm not 100% sure what happened): https://youtu.be/kqXEWjxUAJI?t=40s.

You know how everyone says: "it's the other guy that you gotta watch out for" - well I guess I am that other guy  [embarassed].  I managed to record a very near miss of my own.  Pretty embarrassing as I was going to way too fast for the conditions and hit some slush.  I like to share the video now as a PSA.  I was extremely lucky to not have rammed straight into the wall or have someone collide with me because of my own stupidity: .

As for ladder stories and objects in the road, one morning on the way to work I managed to drive over a ladder that had fallen off of a truck on the highway.  It was pretty early in the morning so it was still dark.  I don't think it was really possible for me to see such a flat object in the roadway ahead of time.  By the time I saw it, it was too late to swerve so all I could do is run over it.  Luckily it was just an aluminum ladder and it looked like it had already been run over a few times.  The aluminum just crushed under the tires without hurting the tires or the car.  The owner of said ladder had pulled his van or truck over on the shoulder a ways up and it looked like he was going to attempt to retrieve the ladder.  Thinking about it - trying to pull something off of, even the right lane of a highway is extremely dangerous.

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Offline rst

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2018, 10:39 AM »
Goingmy, way, been there done that about 36 years ago...heading north out of Harrisburg, PA.  On east side of Susquehanna river, early morning suns up but still low, light snow night before, roads are mostly wet.  I'm coming around the mountain in the passing lane, probably doing 60.  Instantly lane is covered in wet slush.  Next thing I'm sideways looking directly at the guy I'm passing.  I know better than to touch the brakes eased back into lane.  I think I scared the other guy more than me, it often helps being an ex motocross racer.

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2018, 12:28 PM »
@rst, you are an interesting guy...

Offline rst

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2018, 01:15 PM »
No, just old enough to have had a lot of experience at a lot of things.  Older than dirt and twice as dumb!

Offline Mario Turcot

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #22 on: June 26, 2018, 01:33 PM »
but both insurance companies asked how close we were to the car in front of us.  Evidently you're supposed to leave a good distance between you and the car in front of you when you stop at a red light.  I wanna say they said something like 1 whole car length

At a red light I use that simple rule: Must see the ground behind the tire of the previous car. So it also depend on how tall you are, a 5'5" person will have to be at least ~15' (compact car length) from the previous car. I never measured it but I'm 6' and I stand at about 10'. Another thing to consider is how the traffic use to be at the traffic light. Heavy or light traffic, it's a good indication for me to extend the distance a little more if it's heavy. The higher traffic the higher the chance people will bump in you at a greater speed.

Here in Ottawa we have what i call the Orange Cone Syndrome. Those drivers that believe other cars are in fact orange cones and zig-zag their way to be ahead of everyone. In that case depending of the speed I tend to keep less or more distance between me and the previous car. In 43 years of driving, I have been in 5 accidents. Every time I got hit from any possible angle  [scared]
« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 01:39 PM by Mario Turcot »
Mario

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #23 on: June 26, 2018, 01:42 PM »
Eons ago, before the days of cell phones (B.C.P), I was sitting at a traffic light with no one in front of me in my 4 x 4 Toyota Pickup when I was rear ended by a driver.  After getting out and looking at the damage - mostly on his car which had slipped under my truck and hit the spare tire - we exchanged insurance information and waited for the police to show up.  It talking with him he had been in a hurry and was checking the phone number that had popped up on his pager.  He repeatedly asked the police to speed up writing the report because he had an important presentation to give at the Virginia Insurance Commission on the increasing number of accidents being attributed to distracted drivers.

I had to chuckle.

Peter

Offline Bob Marino

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #24 on: June 28, 2018, 09:14 AM »
I got myself a dash cam after we got rear ended and sandwiched in the middle sitting at a stop light in October 2015.  We obviously were not at fault as we were completely stopped, but both insurance companies asked how close we were to the car in front of us.  Evidently you're supposed to leave a good distance between you and the car in front of you when you stop at a red light.  I wanna say they said something like 1 whole car length - I kept thinking to myself NOBODY leaves that much space in between when stopped at a light.

It's good piece of mind for me having the dash cam.  I haven't really caught anything really super spectacular, nor have I had to use it as evidence for an accident that I have been in (knock on wood).  I did manage to record a motorcycle wipe out (I believe he hit some gravel, but I'm not 100% sure what happened): https://youtu.be/kqXEWjxUAJI?t=40s.

You know how everyone says: "it's the other guy that you gotta watch out for" - well I guess I am that other guy  [embarassed].  I managed to record a very near miss of my own.  Pretty embarrassing as I was going to way too fast for the conditions and hit some slush.  I like to share the video now as a PSA.  I was extremely lucky to not have rammed straight into the wall or have someone collide with me because of my own stupidity: .

As for ladder stories and objects in the road, one morning on the way to work I managed to drive over a ladder that had fallen off of a truck on the highway.  It was pretty early in the morning so it was still dark.  I don't think it was really possible for me to see such a flat object in the roadway ahead of time.  By the time I saw it, it was too late to swerve so all I could do is run over it.  Luckily it was just an aluminum ladder and it looked like it had already been run over a few times.  The aluminum just crushed under the tires without hurting the tires or the car.  The owner of said ladder had pulled his van or truck over on the shoulder a ways up and it looked like he was going to attempt to retrieve the ladder.  Thinking about it - trying to pull something off of, even the right lane of a highway is extremely dangerous.

 I bet that sliding around shook you a bit. Besides paying attention and keeping proper distance, my other biggie is good tires - properly inflated. I have dedicated snow tires and have them on from December through March - in snow/slush/ice there is a noticeable difference in handling and stopping distance.

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Online GoingMyWay

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #25 on: June 28, 2018, 09:31 AM »
It really scared me!  I remember just more or less holding on for dear life, fully prepared/expecting to hit the wall.  Somehow the dash cam footage doesn't really do the event justice - I guess as is with most things, actually experiencing it is much more impactful and terrifying than what the video often shows.

It barely snows here in the DC metro area so there's not really a need for snow tires.  I also have no place to store the all season tires if I switched them.  I tried to find some place that could store the extra set of tires, but I was unable to find anywhere.

My AWD SUV came with Continental tires that I'm not all that impressed with.  There have been several occasions where I have lost traction just traveling on wet roads.  I plan on replacing the Continentals with Michelins whenever these wear out.  That's going to be an expensive bill that I'm not looking forward to.
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Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #26 on: June 28, 2018, 09:45 AM »


 I bet that sliding around shook you a bit. Besides paying attention and keeping proper distance, my other biggie is good tires - properly inflated. I have dedicated snow tires and have them on from December through March - in snow/slush/ice there is a noticeable difference in handling and stopping distance.


Yes, All Season tires are a compromise for all seasons. Great for summer and wet roads but snow / winter tires are definitely better for snow, slush, and ice. I don't know if any areas really use "summer tires" anymore (unless for something special) but I bet, if developed to the same degree as all seasons have been, they would be better on dry warm roads than all seasons.


Seth

Offline Bob Marino

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #27 on: June 28, 2018, 02:15 PM »
It really scared me!  I remember just more or less holding on for dear life, fully prepared/expecting to hit the wall.  Somehow the dash cam footage doesn't really do the event justice - I guess as is with most things, actually experiencing it is much more impactful and terrifying than what the video often shows.

It barely snows here in the DC metro area so there's not really a need for snow tires.  I also have no place to store the all season tires if I switched them.  I tried to find some place that could store the extra set of tires, but I was unable to find anywhere.

My AWD SUV came with Continental tires that I'm not all that impressed with.  There have been several occasions where I have lost traction just traveling on wet roads.  I plan on replacing the Continentals with Michelins whenever these wear out.  That's going to be an expensive bill that I'm not looking forward to.

 I replaced my Conti's with Michelin Super Sports - handling particularly on wet roads was way more secure.
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Offline Bob Marino

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #28 on: June 28, 2018, 02:18 PM »


 I bet that sliding around shook you a bit. Besides paying attention and keeping proper distance, my other biggie is good tires - properly inflated. I have dedicated snow tires and have them on from December through March - in snow/slush/ice there is a noticeable difference in handling and stopping distance.
Yes, All Season tires are a compromise for all seasons. Great for summer and wet roads but snow / winter tires are definitely better for snow, slush, and ice. I don't know if any areas really use "summer tires" anymore (unless for something special) but I bet, if developed to the same degree as all seasons have been, they would be better on dry warm roads than all seasons.


Seth

 Seth,

 Many cars - particularly the sportier, performance cars offered for sale in the southern states come with summer tires. Summer tires when the temps drops to the 40's and below are downright dangerous.

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Re: Another driving near mishaap
« Reply #29 on: June 28, 2018, 02:23 PM »
My old car (the one that got totaled when I was sandwiched in 2015) came with summer tires.  When I first got the car, the dealer warned me to be careful driving with them when the road was just wet from rain.
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