Sunday, September 9, 2012

Screech! Bang!

Ignore my cell phone holder on the right. :)
Screech! Bang! Those are the two sounds that I hear whenever the rain is coming down hard and I'm on Interstate 55 traveling.

I'm not sure how things are in your state, but here in Mississippi, rain has no effect on most drivers. Even if the roads can be slick and the rain can get heavy, it's not uncommon to see someone driving 75 mph past you on I-55.

You'll see someone pass you, as if they're riding with velcro tires on a carpet, only to see them five miles down the road facing the opposite direction in the ditch or in the median.

Why do people drive so freakin' fast in the rain?  I don't get it.  Water is wet.  Wet is slippery.  Slippery is dangerous.  What is there not to get?

Back in April, I'm driving during a downpour and although the speed limit in the area I was traveling is 60 mph, but I was driving around 50 mph.  The reason I went slower is because that seemed to be a nice, controlled speed in which I felt comfortable that I could handle my vehicle if something were to go wrong.

People were passing me doing 65, 70 or as much as 75 mph!  I thought that people would slow down when approaching a dangerous part of I-55 called "Waterworks Curve."  This particular curve has probably caused more accidents than any other place in the Jackson Metro area.

Well, I was wrong to think that as you can see in the video below...

They're just zooming past me and into the first part of the curve like the weather is dry. The Waterworks Curve has 4 curves in it like two S's attached from top to bottom yet people act as if they're driving on the Autobahn in a Lamborghini.  I just shook my head and continued to watch for spinning cars.  I knew that it was bound to happen.

About five years ago, a former co-worker of mine had a car accident during a storm.  She was driving down I-55 and hit a puddle of water.  The next thing she remembered was waking up to a paramedic's flashlight in her eyes.  Luckily, she wasn't hurt badly.  However, when she returned to work a few days later, I was speaking to her in the break room.  "Q," she started, "I'm suing Goodyear."

"Goodyear Tires?" I asked.

"Yeah," she replied.  "They sold me all-weather tires and I still hydroplaned and wrecked the other day."

I started laughing until I realized that she was dead-serious.  "You can't sue Goodyear for driving too fast!" I exclaimed.  "That's like suing Chevrolet for their airbag not protecting you after driving over a cliff.  You have to maintain a certain level of responsibility no matter the safety claims."

The stunned look on her face spoke volumes.  She either never thought about it or just didn't have someone to teach her that all-weather tires are to assist you in controlling your vehicle, not prevent you from crashing it.


Is that the problem with all of these people that I see flying past me on the street?  Did no one take time to explain things the way that my parents did?  I can recall my father telling me (way before driving age) that when I got old enough to drive that I should ignore the speed limit in bad weather and drive safely.  I'd like to honestly think that had he not instructed me, that I would have figured it out for myself since I'm "Mr. Common Sense" and all.  But, living in today's society where people let others do the thinking for them, it is even more important that parents explain how driving is a privledge and not a right.  They can also explain how a car can hydroplane in two inches of water, too.

After visiting downtown, The Mrs. and I started to make our way back home and guess what we see?

Do you think that most people don't understand how to drive according to conditions?

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