The Daily Ping

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August 4th, 2003

Terrible Driving Conditions

Yesterday, my wife and I were coming back from central Illinois. We had caught some rain on the way down, but nothing terrible. The trip home, however, held some of the worst weather we’d seen in some time.

Chicago has been getting hit with some intense thunderstorms over the summer. Yesterday’s were no exception. We drove through heavy downpours – the kind where you can’t see in front of your car – and as a bonus, pea-sized hail, too! That was a new experience for me; I’d seen the occasional hailstorm from inside my home. We actually had to pull over due to the intensity of the rain and hail.

Outside of winter, though, I can only think of one other time I had to pull over because I just couldn’t see. It’s nasty stuff.

I also discovered that I handle terrible weather acceptably. I’m not too big to admit I can’t, you know, see anything and will pull over if need be.

Have you dealt with driving in crappy weather, and how do you handle it?

Posted in Cars, Weather

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday August 4, 2003 -- 10:10:07 am
I have drive every weekday for work, and sometimes fly on the weekends for traffic. Hail is interesting to drive through, although it's amazing to me how many people can't drive in rain. By that, I don't mean the heavy storms like Paul described, but light to normal rain. People freak out on the roadways.

It never fails..I'll be driving along, and see some rain start to fall. Within 5 minutes, I'll be flooded with accident reports. Heck, this past Friday, we had a very light rain, and within 10 minutes, I had 8 accidents to investigate, all with people going nuts with the rain.

For me, personally, the only time I really get bothered with driving is with the REAL heavy rain, or icy conditions. For both of those, I'll pull over, if necessary, but there's no such thing as a 'snow day' in my line of work. When we had the huge blizzards back in January, Delaware had a state of emergency going on, so all roads were closed..but guess who had to drive to give play by play of how bad it was? Yep.

If nothing else, when the weather gets really bad, just slow down, and get into a parking lot somewhere. Getting off on the side isn't bad, but there could be others who can't see, and may slide right off and hit you. Take the extra minute, if you can, and find a shopping center or McDonalds to pull into.



FROM: jk
DATE: Monday August 4, 2003 -- 2:05:32 pm
Good advice Dave about getting the whole way off the road so you don't get hit by someone else who cannot see.

I have the wintry luck of finding roads that are either drifted shut or simply not plowed, and it gives me great joy (really!) to plow through in my VW. I cannot imagine driving a car with an automatic transmission in snowy conditions...

When I worked in Baltimore, we had strong rain storms nearly every evening during rush hour. And when the northeast was getting snow, we'd get ICE! Not fun, but a great time to pray and/or get off 95 all together.



FROM: sam
DATE: Monday August 4, 2003 -- 4:47:23 pm
one day driving to western mass from my home town i was hit with the worst rain of all time, driving in my 1991 jeep wrangler, which are cars not known for their exceptional visability, on the highway i had to slow down to 15 mph and at one point saw a car accident happen the lane next to me. for anyone who lives in new england knows about new england weather. what they say is true if you dont like the weather wait a minute, that day once i arrived at my destination, i was swimming and laying out in 90 degree weather



FROM: Ryan
DATE: Monday August 4, 2003 -- 6:32:33 pm
I've only hit really bad rain that made me pull off the road once or twice... I've found that pulling off under an overpass is a good alternative to pulling off an exit if one isn't nearby... that way you're at least somewhat visible to other travellers.



FROM: Kate
DATE: Monday August 4, 2003 -- 6:37:24 pm
I don't mind driving in the rain, although my car doesn't like icy roads (which is why I avoid driving in the winter). One thing I would like to remind everyone: When the road is wet or icy, please remember your turn signals and begin the stopping process early. Even if your car isn't prone to sliding, the guy behind you might not be as lucky.



FROM: jk
DATE: Monday August 4, 2003 -- 8:38:51 pm
So true! There's always a pick-up truck behind me, close enough to see my earrings, and it makes me very scared. Just because you are big does not mean you can control your vehicle on snow OR ice!



FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday August 4, 2003 -- 9:06:05 pm
VERY good point, jk. It always works that most of the disabled/wrecked vehicles in bad weather are the SUV's/Large Trucks. Not because they are weak, but because the owners think they can drive 70...uphill...in a blizzard...I'd be a liar if I said I didn't get a slight grin across my face when I see a larger than life SUV trapped in a snow bank. :)

Agreed with Kate, too. NO ONE uses turn signals anymore. That's a whole 'nother Ping, althogether.

When did this turn into one large "Safe Driving" PSA? ;-)



FROM: BobbyDigital
DATE: Tuesday August 5, 2003 -- 12:55:59 am
South Dakota winters are just plain nasty!! Pet peev.. Semis that overdrive conditions.. and like Dave, I despise speeding SUV's in December.. Buckle Up!

can't wait till winter



FROM: jk
DATE: Tuesday August 5, 2003 -- 9:18:48 pm
Dave, marry me!

he he he

Sorry guys, we just get along a little too well for two people who have never met.



FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday August 5, 2003 -- 9:49:28 pm
Wow, it's like deja vu all over again. ;)

Incidentally, another incident of poor rain driving today. I was doing Delaware traffic, and through 4:30, we were fine with no delays or accidents. All of the sudden, a quick moving thunderstorm moved through, and within 5 minutes of the rain hitting, we had *13* accidents, and countless roads blocked with people actually stopping their cars....in the MIDDLE OF THE ROAD....of **I-95**. I honestly wanted to scream "IT'S WATER, FOLKS!"

Ahh, that feels better. :)



FROM: Anon.
DATE: Tuesday February 8, 2005 -- 6:49:42 am
This Page was a result of "Terrible Shelter Conditions" And i did not think I would get "Weather And Road" conditions as a result :S Should Think differently about arranging your search engine result pages



FROM: Paul
DATE: Tuesday February 8, 2005 -- 7:08:28 am
Nah.



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