On February 13, I had a treacherous day, caused by something we hadn’t seen in the NYC Tri-State Area in more than 730 days… SNOW!

Although it is beautiful to look at from inside a warm house or apartment, it is treacherous to travel in it. Besides this, people not only forget how to drive in the snow… people who have four-wheel drive vehicles think they can speed. WRONG!

Ride #1: 4 AM Paramus to EWR

My first ride was a standard 4:00am pickup from northern New Jersey driving two passengers to Newark Airport. Nothing special; I gave myself more time because it was just starting to snow and roads were icy and slick.

Approaching the airport on Route 78 eastbound near the Garden State Parkway, I was driving carefully and being ever vigilant.

Suddenly, in the left lane, I saw a black car perpendicular to me in the middle of the road. This car had spun out and its lights were not on. This was terrifying to me because I could have hit him doing 50 mph if I had not seen with enough time to get out of his way.

We arrived at Newark Airport safely and I was happy that ride was over.

Ride#2:  6 AM Brooklyn to PA

My second ride was a pickup in Brooklyn, going to Collegeville, Pa. Normally, this ride would take an hour and a half. That day, it took two and a half hours. The female passenger didn’t seem to mind, considering the inclement weather.

It was surprising to me how many cars were spun around and how many crashes there were. Every day, I see or hear on the radio about at least one crash. On this day, there were crashes galore up and down the New Jersey Turnpike and Pennsylvania Turnpike.

After I delivered the passenger safely to her destination, I made my way back to Newark Airport. It took me a while to get there because the roads were so slick. I saw a car that had flipped over onto its roof as I was driving north on the New Jersey Turnpike around Exit 7.

Ride 3:  12 PM EWR-Hillsborough

I finally arrived at Newark Airport three hours after dropping off my last passenger, just in time to greet my third and final passenger of the day.

The ride to Hillsborough Township was slow and steady. There were many cars in accidents and off the road due to the six inches of snow.

I was happy to arrive in my passenger’s driveway and bring their bags to their front door. In addition, I was grateful for the $20 tip the passenger gave me.

Flashback

On my way home to Union, NJ, I reflected on the 10 Winters that I have been driving professionally. The first four (2013-2016) had very heavy and frequent snowstorms.

The next four (2017-2020) were more moderate and less-frequent storms. The last two years (2021-2022) we had no snow, maybe due to Global Warming. Regardless, the rules have not changed regarding driving in Winter conditions. GO SLOW IN THE SNOW!

The moral of this Street Story is: No matter how much snow is on the ground, slow down and stay out of the way of those crazy drivers who think that their four-wheel drive vehicles allow them to drive fast in the snow. The life you save could be your own!

Article by RH Stovall, Jr

R.H. Stovall, Jr. is a Senior Executive Chauffeur, trainer and mentor for Royal Coachman Worldwide in Denville, NJ.

See All Articles