I have finally learned this lesson, in late 2013, many many years after I learned to drive in New England ice and snow: When the forecast includes the word “Winter Storm Warning” or “Winter Weather Advisory,” the decision is STAY HOME.
This is the symbol. OBEY THE LITTLE ORANGE TRIANGLE!
It’s so easy for me to think that I can get where I want to go before everyone else or that the roads won’t be as bad as “they” say or that the forecast is just “off” by some amount of time. These are all terrible assumptions. But the worst assumption of all is that the thing I just must attend, the important event and reason to get from Point A to Point B at this specific time, during this winter weather, is important enough to take the chance.
It isn’t. It’s all miss-able. Really.
This year, I found myself in a scary white-knuckle drive home from a mid-day company holiday party, with many of other foolish people slipping and sliding, some of them right off the road. Finally, I learned my lesson: the orange triangle means stay home.
There is a cost to being this conservative, of course. It means that there will also be really fun events that I’ll miss, due to the little orange triangle’s warning, and then find out that the roads were fine after all. That happened to me within mere days of learning this lesson. But that’s the deal – you can’t have it both ways.
It’s snowing and icy out there now. There is a little orange triangle on my screen. And I’m staying home.