Saturday, February 4, 2012

More snow-how in traffic, please

Talvi yllätti autoilijat, indeed. Despite the humor built into the sentence there is nothing funny in a pile-up at the motorway. In the past two winters we've been proud about our snow-how: how we manage and organize our daily life despite the snow. Our snow-how may be world class what comes to bulldozing the snow out of the streets or finding innovative ways to store the excess snow in downtown, but snow-how in the traffic is our Achilles' heel.

A small survival dictionary/guide to winter traffic:
  • Turvaväli - safety buffer. Do not drive right next to the bumper of the car in front of you. Don't. Icy roads are slippery and it takes quite a long way to really stop your car.
  • Tilannenopeus - hmm, no idea of the English word related to this. You need to adjust your speed according the weather and surrounding traffic, no matter what the speed limit signs are saying.
  • Talvirenkaat - winter tires. Either studded tires or friction tires. According to law you must have winter tires from November to Easter.
  • Ajovalot - headlamps. When you're driving in a heavy snow storm, it's ok to adjust lamps of the car to improve the visibility - the clue is to have the lamps on, not switched off. Redirecting the headlamps, turning on the sumuvalot (the fog lamps?), or using the lyhyet valot (short distance mild lights) instead of pitkät valot (long distance bright lights) may help if the snow is blurring the visibility. But do not use the emergency blinkers unless you're in real emergency.


  1. Good tips! but still... I saw today a guy going 'round Espoo with the back wheels locked. Did he forget the käsijarru on? Was it frozen?

    That was anything but safe!

  2. Crazy man! Or maybe he had electric käsijarru and didn't know how to use it? If it was frozen, why couldn't he take a bus or taxi...