Thursday, February 13, 2014

It's Not You, It's Them

Oh it's not so bad out today. Truly, it isn't. I took a snow day anyway. I did it for several reasons and was vindicated during the evening rush hour when the MTA announced several exciting weather-related changes to service which would likely have chapped my already raw ass.

This morning on a very short dog walk I realized, though, why I usually err on the side of caution when traveling in iffy weather. I don't trust people. I mean, yes, I know that you are a good driver in snow and on ice. I trust you and I trust myself. If it was just the two of us out there I wouldn't be at all worried. I'd be careful and smart but it'd be cake. It's everybody else I don't trust.

The plows had been by very early in the morning but the snow was coming down fast and heavy so things were a mess again. In the space of a block I watched a gaggle of elementary students gleefully run for the (very late) school bus and a lone older woman shuffle across the snow covered ice under her umbrella while hailing a cab and hollering her relief. My overwhelming reaction to both sights was, "Oh fuck no." If those kids were mine, if that woman was my mother, I would not entrust their welfare to the skills of a bus or cab driver I didn't know personally. OK, I mean, if school was on and that's how we did things I probably would but, man, I would not feel good about it.

I have been very lucky. I've skidded here and there. I've witnessed some awful accidents. I've only had to really use my ice driving skills once. I drove a short length of a long drive across a highway in MI that was covered in about a quarter inch of ice. I inched along in the tangle of traffic keeping my head even when a pick-up ahead and to my left did a full donut. Somebody in the line of cars in front of me pressed the brakes too hard, though, and I had to react and suddenly I was headed toward the ditch. If you steer into the skid and you pump the brakes regularly you can save yourself. My front tires touched the grass of the median but only my front ones. I righted myself and went on, hating every hard won foot of the drive.

If it hadn't been for all those other drivers I wouldn't have hated it nearly so much.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:14 PM

    I feel for you guys to the east. I live in Iowa and we've certainly had our fair share of extreme cold and snow, but we haven't had as many big storms as you've had. Stay safe.