Whats your limit for driving to work in inclement weather?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by glocke12, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. glocke12 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    Whats your cutoff for saying no to driving to work in inclement weather?

    If your normal commute is 45 minutes, but you know that due to weather it will take longer, at what point do you just say screw it?

    2, 3, 4 hours?

    I ask because here in PA we have had a 18 inches of snow in my area the past couple of days. Normally it takes me 45min to an hour to get in. Weds. it took me two hours, and yesterday I did not even bother because I had a good 4 hours at least of shoveling to do to get out.

    Yet on both days there are people I work with that drove 3, and in once case 4 hours (normally it would take these people an hour) to get in.

    For me personally my cut off is 2 hours. Anymore than that and I think it pretty much means that conditions are bad enough that you should not be out.

    Also, one caveat, I think part of the reason for the "come hell or high water" attitude of my colleagues is driven by senior management of my department. I can't explain the pervading philosophy very well, other than to say that the message that comes down is that "unless you are miserable, stressed, and overworked than we are not doing our job".
  2. heehee macrumors 68020


    Jul 31, 2006
    Same country as Santa Claus
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Probably 6 inches or higher. That would more than double traveling time for sure. Unless there are important stuff, I "work" from home.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I don't have a time cut off, but rather a safety cut off. If my truck cannot safely handle the roads, then I stay home.

    time is relative, a minor snow storm could snarl up the morning commute if the timing is is just right, sprinkle in a few accidents and you're sitting in traffic. The problem with the time limit is, once you're in the traffic, its generally too late to turn around. Its no better going the other way and so you're typically better off continuing in - provided its safe.
  4. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    I'm able to telecommute occasionally, so my threshold is very, very low. If there's even a light dusting on the ground, I'll hop onto Remote Desktop and stay put in my nice, warm house.
  5. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Which is a rather idiotic attitude. People who are not miserable, stressed, and overworked, will be doing their job a lot better. A memorable quote from a higher-up manager at Microsoft: "You can make people be at work for more than 40 hours a week, even a lot more than 40 hours a week. You can't make them _work_ more than 40 hours a week".

    It is known (proven by studies) that if you work for sixty hours a week, eight weeks in a row, you will actually do _less_ useful work than if you had done forty hours for those eight weeks. Plus you are now exhausted, so you will continue doing less work for some time.
  6. 4phun macrumors member

    Dec 24, 2007
    No go

    My cutoff if it looks dangerous. I worked for forty years with a policy that if there was a strong possibly I could be involved in an accident caused by some idiot, I did not bother to go in. The work will still be there later. I looked at the $500 deductible on the insurance and the aggravation of making repairs as a strong incentive to view a missed day as not being all that bad.

    I once missed work for a whole week when our southern area was socked in by snow and ice. They would call every so often and ask when I was coming and I told them I didn't think I could get up the hill yet. They would ask if I would go look so I placed the phone down for a few minutes then picked it up and said, "Nope still can not get out."

    Never moved.

    Plenty of work with overtime made up for the days I lost. Those who choose to answer the call and who wrecked any of the company vehicles were often fired do to the severity of the accidents. Others often totaled their own cars on bridges and such.

    Some never learn.
  7. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    If it is 90 degrees plus or minus in winter and the beach isn't crowded I am soo there! :D

    Wait you were talking about snow. Sorry can't help you there. :)
  8. callmemike20 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 21, 2007
    In Chicago, snow is not an excuse. It's just a rule that comes with living in the city. Living out here, its expected that you are prepared. If its bad out, you leave as early as possible. Schools rarely get snow days and when they do, it's a big deal. My bus has gotten stuck in snow in elementary and middle school so many times, we just ended up just missing one class.
  9. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Same thing in here. There hasn't been a single snow day during my +10 years of studying. Snow cannot be used as an excuse. If you tell your employer that you didn't come to work because of snow, they will most likely laugh at your face and tell you that you don't have to come tomorrow, or the day after.

    I find it hilarious when I read these stories about other countries where everything gets closed when they get couple of inches of snow... Sometime ago, many airports in Europe were closed due to the weather, yet it wasn't anything special for us.
  10. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Well, here in Ottawa, Canada (eh!) we are pretty used to large snow dumps, although the last several years have actually been pretty good. I remember one time I opened the garage door to find about three feet of snow piled up against it (partly due to a large snow dump and also the wind blowing even more of it up against the door). I had to shovel all of that away before I could get the car out. Not fun. I'm sure I took pictures of it somewhere just to prove to people that we really did get that much snow overnight.

    That said, if I can't drive safely, I don't go out. One time I tried to bring the car out and I couldn't get 10 feet past my driveway before it got stuck in the snow on the roads. I put it back into the garage and walked to work that day (about 30 minutes not including a stop for a hot coffee along the way!) In retrospect I should have just stayed home.

    Sometimes all you have to do is wait. The "gotta get there" crowd will be out there, having accidents, slipping into ditches, and causing the dreaded multi-hour commutes. Just wait it out. Eventually those crowds will dissipate, the accidents get cleaned up, the plows come and clean up the roads. Plan to be a couple of hours late for work that day and you'll likely be fine.
  11. snberk103, Jan 28, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011

    snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Self employed, with a home-office. I remember last month being 1/2 an hour late for work due to a burnt toast incident. It was brutal.
  12. xlii macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2006
    Millis, Massachusetts
    I learned a lesson back in the blizzard of '78. When the weather is bad and you gotta go somewhere... take the back country roads... it's never let me down. In bad weather do not get on the freeway.
  13. dmr727 macrumors G3


    Dec 29, 2007
    I live in Socal. If the roads are wet, I stay home.
  14. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    They're just being prudent. In those cases where heavy snow is not the norm, the municipalities don't have much, or perhaps any, snow removal equipment, nor do they stock road salt or sand. They spend their money on other things.
  15. duncanapple macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2008
    Fortunately I can work virtually as well as go into my office. If it's supposed to snow bad I just bring my laptop home. If the snow sticks and the roads get bad, I work from home.

    Unless you have a job (ie a nurse, firefighter, other essential service, etc) that has to be done no matter the weather, I don't understand the whole you have to come in thing. I think it comes down to company culture and that the whole "be there every day chained to your desk 9-5" is an old school mentality that is fading. Other than in a recessionary period, companies like that don't retain quality employees. A car wreck isn't worth a mornings worth of productivity.
  16. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    You don't live in Boston do you, because if you had that policy here, you'd be a recluse the way folks around here drive - regardless if its June or December :D
  17. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    When I did commute it was only when the roads were unsafe. If I had to commute today it would be similar.
  18. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    well you have to remember in the warming areas they do not have the equipment to clear the roads.
    On top of that when it does get that cold often times it is in that temp range that it is worthless to salt the road. It needs to get colder so the salt does not just washes off. When it is around freezing there is just not much they can do.

    Plus no one has the equipment to hand the snow/ice. I live in Texas. My car as summer tires on it year rounds and I never switch them out for what I might have to deal with one day a year.

    As for me my limit is safety. If I can not safely drive in I am not going to go. The limit here is rains and freezes. If we get snow the roads are going to be cover in ice plane and simple. There is not much to salt and sand the roads here in Texas.
  19. 4JNA macrumors 68000


    Feb 8, 2006
    looking for trash files
    4 wheel drive, desparate customer, no problem.

    as a consultant/field service guy, it's easy. i start billing when i start driving, so the limit is if the customer is willing to pay or not.

    it's all billable hours to me. :p
  20. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Well, UK gets snow pretty much every year but they still suck at handling it. I understand if we're talking about a country or area where it snows like once in 20 years but it snows almost annually in mid Europe, yet they are still screwed every year.

    It just sounds funny to us because we have snow for several months each year but things still work normally.
  21. NickZac macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    If I have no obligation or good reason to go out, then even an inch I will drive little as possible or none as people in MD become idiots when they see 1 flurry. With that said, occasionally I have obligations to meet which are time dependent and not being their due to poor weather is not really an option. I had a Jeep Liberty for a while that was slightly jacked, mud terrain tyres, slightly changed trans/tq con, and skidplates; I really liked it and wonder why I sold it :(

    I'll probably get another one come the end-of-year clearance
  22. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    Isn't this the truth. We get an inch of rain and all the news can talk about is rain storm 20XX. To freaking funny.
  23. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    The recent bad spell of weather came during the coldest December since records began, it really was totally unexpected. We don't have a lot of snow anyway, we only get about 2 or 3 moderate downfalls a year if that. They are better equipped up in Scotland and the north of England because they tend to get it more often.

    It's usually a couple of days of national panic if we get a decent downfall, then it's all forgotten about until it takes us by surprise again next year. :D
  24. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    5 beers for rain, 4 for snow, 2.5 for hail.

    Wait, what?
  25. Cuddles macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2010
    I have a Subaru and my co-workers know this. So if work is open, I'm here. :p

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