Sunday, December 21, 2008

Adventures in Winter Driving

The gal and I were on our way to church this morning on the treacherous Highway 10 in the Anoka area. Given the somewhat icy roadways, I was quite cautious, topping out at only 50 MPH. While in the left lane I had a vehicle (a Buick, I think) come flying up behind me, seemingly annoyed at my slower speed. Since the right lane is reserved for slower traffic I decided to oblige the impatient driver behind me and switch lanes. While in the right hand lane I quickly peaked to the left to see the hurried driver. It happened to be a 70-something couple who attends our church. While I was concerned with the potential for an accident, I admired their sense of urgency to ignore the elements in order to get to the house of the Lord.

But heading home from church was where the real adventure took place. This time I had a woman in a Toyota Corolla barrel up behind us in the left lane. Since there was congestion due to slower traffic in both lanes, I didn't have an opportunity to get over to the right. But the woman in the Corolla seemed to be in a massive hurry so she shot between two vehicles in the right lane and cut in front of me in the left. The gal and I sensed that her careless driving would cause her to lose control on the still icy Highway. About a minute later the Corolla driver did indeed spin out and veered off into the ditch off the right shoulder. As we passed her car, we again took a quick peak at the perpetrator. To our absolute disgust, we surmised that she must have been talking on her cell phone the whole time since she was still on it while in the ditch. I guess I would have been curious to get the perspective of whomever she was speaking to as she lost control.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 1990, I was driving from Medina (in-laws 50th anniversary, at the Ballroom) to St. Paul in a Hyundai Excel with my then-wife, stepson and three month old daughter. There'd just been a blizzard - a really bad one, although since it fell less than a month after the infamous Halloween blizzard, it's been pretty much forgotten. It was brutally cold, and the roads were *horrible*.

I was on 694 east of Fish Lake. There was, in effect, one lane of traffic, a beaten stretch down the center. I was doing 45, and traction was feeling pretty tender even at that speed.

Moron in a Blazer comes racing up behind us, sits on my back bumper, flashes his lights, and, as I move into the "right" lane (nothing but snow and ice) guns his engine past us.

"That guy's gonna spin out", I quipped.

Sure enough, when he got about 200 yards ahead, I see his headlights, then taillights, then headlights again. He did a 540 and wound up in the ditch, pointed the wrong way.

I'd like to think my Christian charity made me pull over and help. With two little kids in the car on a brutal night and people driving like idiots, I figured it'd be safe to give the moron the finger as I passed and keep going.

I think I restrained myself on the finger...