Monday, February 25, 2013

An Open Letter to Everyone Who Drives a Car

Dear Everyone,

We haven't talked in a while.  How have you been?  How's that thing you've been worried about?  I hope it's doing better.  How about that thing you're excited about?  Is it still making you happy?

Enough of the small talk.  The reason I've gathered you all here today is to discuss a little subject I call, "don't run into other cars while driving."

This seems like a pretty basic idea.  But, in my experience, there is some sort of amnesia that kicks in whenever it snows.  Apparently, people get up in the morning and see white stuff falling from the sky and think to themselves, "Am I supposed to run into other cars or not?  I can't remember."

You're not supposed to run into other cars.  Even if there is white stuff.

I'm glad we got that cleared up.

I think there may be some of you out there who actually know that you're not supposed to run into other cars, but you do it on accident.  I'd like to discuss some things with you.

There are lots of things we could talk about, such as, if your car starts to fishtail, you should turn the wheel into the fishtail.  That means the wheel should turn the same direction that the back of the car is drifting.  If you turn it the other way you will do what is called a donut.  This move is considered awesome if A)you are in an empty parking lot doing it on purpose or B) you are in an action movie and you are spinning around so that you can shoot the gas tank of a car that is chasing you and cause it to explode.  In all other situations, doing a donut is not awesome.

There are other techniques you can learn that are helpful for driving in the snow.  But the most important principle I'd like to go over is so simple that it can improve your snow driving instantly.  Are you ready for it?   It's going to blow your mind.  Here it comes.

Slow Down!

It blew your mind didn't it.  I marvel every time I drive on the freeway when it is snowing.  There are always people blowing past me at 80 mph.  They always have a smug look on their face as they blow past all the wimps who don't drive fast in snow.  Then I usually pass them a few minutes later as they sit on the side of the road after spinning out.

It should be understood, I like to drive fast.  I'm usually going a good 10 mph above the speed limit on the freeway in safe conditions.  But when conditions are not safe, is it really worth risking your life to get to work 5 minutes sooner?  (Not to mention that when you spin off the road it slows down traffic for the rest of us and we all get there 20 minutes later.)

This past weekend there was a bit of snow.  I've noticed that when it snows, it takes a few days for people to remember how to drive in it.  If it snows several days in a row, by the third day you don't see as many accidents.  But if it's dry for a week or two, when the snow returns it's as if they've never seen snow or driven in it before.

The following pictures are not from this past weekend.  It's from a couple months ago.  But I had to share what happens when people don't remember the age old wisdom of slowing down.
They closed 5 lanes of traffic on I15 for this little wreck.

Important safety tip: don't park a semi sideways on the freeway.  People may run into you.
I don't know what happened here, but I'm willing to be that semi was driving too fast.

For those of you who have been in wrecks recently, I do recognize that there are some accidents that happen through no fault of the driver.  You can be driving a speed that is safe for the conditions when the conditions suddenly change.  Perhaps that's what happened with our semi driver above.  My brother recently got in an accident that sounds like it was no one's fault, from his description.

I would just prefer that we all get to our destinations safely, whether there is white stuff on the road or not.  If you don't feel safe at the speed you are driving, don't feel ashamed to slow down.


P.S. I ended with "love" so you know that everything I said was filled with love and you can't get offended at me for telling you to slow down.

1 comment:

  1. I'm pretty sure I slow down too much sometimes. I'm just glad we are getting closer to no snow weather. I'm not a fan!


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