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Why Are So Many St. Louisans Terrible Winter-Weather Drivers?

AAA of Missouri's Mike Right (at left) and Kent Flake, commissioner of streets for the City of St. Louis, offered suggestions and insights on the talk show Jan. 18, 2019.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Snow, ice, streets and St. Louis – it all tends to make for a tricky wintry mix, as was evident last weekend when a major snowstorm hit the region. With the potential for additional winter weather now imminent, Friday’s St. Louis on the Air included a focus on why some St. Louisans drive poorly in such conditions – and how residents can better prepare for and deal with future weather events.

Joining the discussion were Kent Flake, commissioner of streets for the City of St. Louis, and Mike Right, vice president of public affairs for AAA of Missouri.

“Fortunately or unfortunately, we don’t get a lot of practice with driving in the snow in the St. Louis area,” Right said. “That storm that we experienced last Friday – we haven’t seen that kind of storm in a decade, if not more. And people are not used to driving in snow, and they forget that they have to change their mindset and get off of the automatic pilot and take into consideration things that they just assume automatically.”

Flake acknowledged that many St. Louisans seem to drive in a similar fashion regardless of conditions.

“St. Louis drivers drive the same whether it’s 70 [degrees] and sunny – well, maybe not sunny, because we don’t always drive well in the sun either,” he said. “But whether it’s nice and 70 or rainy or snowy, I think a lot of people just assume that they can always go do whatever they always [want] to do.”

They went on to offer a variety of suggestions and tips for residents – and also responded to comments and questions from a handful of listeners – during the conversation.


St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Alex HeuerEvie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

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Evie was a producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.