Monday, June 15, 2009

Someone's Trying to Tell Me Something 'Bout My Driving

I just had to share that my drive into the plant this morning was the scariest commute I’ve made, ever ... bar none; I believe I fully experienced every type of rain there is. At one point an arc may have surfed past!

We started out in my sunny neighborhood (but I luckily watched the news before I left and kept the girls inside, or they’d have been fluff-dogs by the time I got home … again), then edged over into gloomy the next town over.

By the time I got near Arrowhead I couldn’t see the car in front of me. Not so bad, but the speed with which road conditions changed was shocking! We went from drizzle to category five hurricane in a flash. One second I could see the car in front of me (about four lengths ahead) … then nothing. So I let up on the gas (being disinclined to brake because I don’t enjoy the perceived lack-of-control of the ABS), then let up some more, and kept letting up until I was traipsing along at about 35 mph. I could almost see the headlights of the car behind me in my rearview mirror, but pretty much everything else was shades of gray with obscured visibility due to the windshield wipers being completely overpowered by the rain.

I could juuuust barely make out the lighting rig on the semi two lanes to the right of me, so I just matched speed with it (but really, it could have been a low flying blimp for all I knew). My mindset at that point something like I imagine a yachter’s in the middle of the ocean, on a moonless night, trying to keep track of the whale pacing along next to her tiny little sailboat.

Part of my problem was the noise, too. It sounded like the finale of a drummer’s competition, where they all get together and BAM! Show us what they got.

Anyway, this horror show only lasted a few miles, then turned right back into regular rain. But I find it hard to put into works just how frightening it was to experience such a sudden gray-out. Prolly made it worse because I watched Ice Road Truckers last night and … whoa, nelly! … they have some situations with which to contend! All I’m saying is my imagination may have run wild.

A little.

Okay, a lot. But still.

Then, on the way home from the plant tonight, at the exact same location I got my speeding ticket back in January (ahem … say it … you know you want to!), I came right up on a multiple vehicle accident. And not just a fender-bender either. A quick glance ascertained (quick glance because I’m not into rubber-necking … Heaven forfend I ever do and see some poor schmucks arm lying by the roadside … ickpoo) smashed vehicles in all three lanes and debris all over the road.

So I maneuvered my way through and dialed 911 on my cell. 911 was busy (actually felt good about that, because I figured they were fielding the 911 calls of everyone else driving by) … I gave my info when it was my turn (she actually had clarifying questions … how cool!), and kept on for home.

Now I have to be good and admit the accident has had a much greater impact on my future driving habits through that area than my speeding ticket back in January.

Yes, I am that big a chucklehead!

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