Have you ever had an accident driving to work in a snow storm?

  1. My heart really goes out to the children and families of all those caregivers who are bullied into driving during this time of dangerous driving weather.

    Their patients who sometimes do not really need help during the storm are strangely enough on a list of the ones they're coerced into driving to. These patients are afraid for their caregivers.

    If you have to work during this time, may I suggest leaving before the bad weather starts and arranging a double shift so your relief nurses do not have to go out.

    May I also suggest that nurse managers think about what they would want if these nurses were their own children or parents and find alternatives that do not involve threatening them into driving on a dangerous road.

    Knowing how to drive on ice does not make anyone more safe.
    Last edit by Joe V on Dec 18, '13 : Reason: formatting
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  3. by   psu_213
    To answer your question from the title of your post: No (and I have lived in snowy areas almost my entire life). I have never been in a snow related accident because I leave early, do not rush, and I drive cautiously. Let's face it, nurses have to be there. Sometimes conditions are less than ideal. It the roads were truly impassable, then, yes, stay home. Otherwise, drive safely...nurses just have to be there.

    And coming from someone who drove on ice from day one of driving..."knowing" how to drive on ice makes you much safer on slippery roads.
  4. by   jasonstatham7
    I was in New York City when a big storm that began with ice over the weekend brought snow last night, and today, too. The number of flight cancellations grew Tuesday, while on ice-crusted roads there were fender benders, accidents and roll-overs.
    Last edit by TheCommuter on Dec 12, '13 : Reason: Terms of service
  5. by   liketheairport
    I take public transportation. I've told employers before, "I am not risking waiting outside for the bus, the bus driver possibly not seeing me, sitting for 3 hours waiting to get to work, and then it taking 4 hours to get home because the snow got worse. Sorry, I know you need me, but it's not worth risking my safety for."
  6. by   mhy12784
    im actually starting a job next month, and anticipate snow being an issue at some point but

    Dont they usually offer some kind of special "snow transportation" I remember last year in nursing school there was a HUGE blizzard (February I think?) and some of the hospitals had special transportation that would pick you up and bring you to the hospital. Isnt that common ?

    That said I dont know anyone who crashed during one, but last year one of my close friends (who is a PT not a nurse) had to abandon his car on a highway because they forced him to come in during that blizzard. Apparently the major highways were littered with abandoned cars from people forced to try to go into work during the blizzard, and id imagine many of them were rescue workers or healthcare workers
  7. by   cardiacfreak
    A couple of years ago my little city was hit with a major ice storm. The county issued an emergency and only healthcare providers were allowed out on city streets and county roads, (besides police, fire and such). Many of the nurses who had been working that day were stuck at the hospital because others couldn't make it in.

    It's a two-edged sword, the patients need care and who is going to provide this care, at the same time, if a nurse gets hurt in an accident then there still isn't anyone to take care of the patients.
  8. by   TerpGal02
    Where I live we haven't had much of a winter since I've been a nurse and HAD to drive in snow, but have been in 2 accidents in the snow. Both times I was rear ended in the sake little 85 Pontiac Fiero that was my first car. I got a Honda CRV this summer and got something with 4 x 4 on purpose because I knew I'd have to drive. I have never had my own 4 x 4 before (hubby had always had one) and it passed it's first snow test with flying colors.

    I DO think you are safer if you are confident driving in the snow. That said, what really scares me about driving in the snow is other people. If you are going to panic driving in the snow, for god sakes stay home, you are just endangering yourself and everyone around you.
  9. by   SoldierNurse22

    And knowing how to drive on ice does count for something. You can't ensure the safety of your fellow drivers, but you can at least ensure your own and plan for the stupidity of others. Considering I have made a 2.5 hour drive over the span of 7 hours before to reach my destination following a snow/icestorm, I'd say a certain level of comfort with snowy, icy roads does a person some good.

    But what do I know. I'm just a Yankee in the Southland...
  10. by   JustBeachyNurse
    It sounds like OP is referring to pediatric private duty. Agencies are required to have an emergency plan for each client. Clients that are level 3 (fully competent caregivers with competent backup from nearby relatives) are not priority staffed if weather is not safe. Level 2 competent caregivers with minimal back up and level one highly complex requiring highly specialized skilled care. In power outages arrangements are made for highly complex technology dependent (think trach vent) children that do not have a back up generator at the home to be transferred out of area, to the hospital or an appropriate shelter Staffing is done based upon the emergency plan of care. All plans are reviewed annually and updated PRN. All on call managers have access to emergency plans for all clients served.

    Fortunately my primary patients have highly competent caregivers and live less than 30 minutes from me.

    I've never been in an accident on the way to work whether working ER, pharmaceutical research, or private duty. Leave early & plan ahead.

    The agencies I work with strongly discourage planning on double shifts for weather emergencies and have contingency plans to get nurses home to their own families.

    These plans worked exceptionally well when my area was ravaged by hurricane Sandy last October. No nurse was stranded and no client was left without a competent caregiver. The second phase was enacted for evacuation and transfer to appropriate facilities as many patients' homes were without power for 10+ days. Battery back up only lasts so long.
  11. by   JustBeachyNurse
    I disagree that knowing how to drive in snow & ice does not make it safer, it does make a difference as those who truly know how to navigate snow & ice are careful and proactive regarding others on the road. Most leave early and are prepared.
  12. by   CrunchRN
    Yes, was run off the road into a ditch.

    That said I knew it came with the job and I chose to go in.

    These days I have a job that is able to close for inclement weather. Less pay, but nice peace of mind.

    I think both the employee and the employer have a responsibility to make advance plans that are workable to care for hospitalized patients. Such as offering child care. A reasonably comfortable place to stay while off shift. Alternate transportation options.......
  13. by   elkpark
    I've had one accident on a snowy road on the way to work (no other vehicle involved; encountered some ice under the snow on the road; because I was driving slowly and carefully to begin with, I slid off the road, down a small embankment and into some brush, but neither the car nor I was injured), in almost 30 years of nursing (all of it in areas that have rough winters). The one time I was in the accident, I made it to work -- 30 minutes late, but I continued on to work once the car was pulled up out of the bushes, since the car and I were both fine.

    I agree with the others who have commented that this is what one signs up for when one chooses to be a nurse and to live in areas that get snow and ice on the roads in the winters. If it's really that big a concern, find a job that doesn't involve other people depending on you in bad weather.
  14. by   Silverdragon102
    I always leave for work early and take my time, what I can't stand are the idiots who come up behind me fast and then try and put pressure on me to go faster............. aint happening I love living too much and when I can feel my back end slipping because the road isn't safe then I will continue to go slower and safer