Driving home from New York on Monday, we had just pulled off the road for the night when the weather was getting dicey and it was getting dark. At the exact same time we were checking into a motel, a stretch of the westbound I-80 we had just driven, iced over like a skating rink. All it took was one careless driver, going too fast, to apply the brakes, and WHAMMO!
The accident scene shown above occurred in Jefferson County PA at about 3:00PM in the eastbound lanes. Here is the video of the crash in Clinton County that Babushka avoided by sensibly turning off the road for the night.
Rules of driving on icy roads at night: Don't! DO NOT DRIVE AT NIGHT IN BAD WEATHER. Pull over and check into a motel. Whiteout conditions can occur during the day and they are very scary, but at night they are deadly! But if you are on the Ohio Turnpike, keep driving. You can have zero visibility on the Ohio Turnpike and still do 60mph.
We stayed at a Quality Inn in Clarion, PA, nice comfortable room with free internet and reasonably priced. Their free coffee sucks, though.
If you are driving on the I-80 and there is a sudden change in visibility due to a snow squall, slow down (do NOT slam on the brakes), put on your hazard lights, drive at a speed that is comfortable and you are in control. Let all the other cars and 18-wheelers pass you on the left--you might see them in the ditch further on.
Before leaving on an Interstate trip, make sure your windshield fluid is topped off: passing trucks can throw a bunch of crap on your windshield, and running your wipers while snow is coming down just smears the dirt. Make sure your tires are correctly inflated and the treads are good. An oil change is a good idea before starting on a long trip.
Do not make phone calls while driving in hazardous conditions! Do not answer any phone calls unless your car is equipped with SYNCTM or some other hands-free system.
The funny thing is, I can drive on the I-80 in near whiteout conditions, but I totally can't drive on the streets of New York.