Baby Doll was telling me the other day about a friend of hers who posted on Facebook something like this: "Attention all drivers of Minneapolis! Now that winter is here repeat after me: I will not drive like an idiot, I will not drive like an idiot, I will not drive like an idiot." I don't know if that is the exact quote but it is true to the idea, and I couldn't agree more.
Now I don't live in the Minneapolis, but I live in the north in an area that thankfully has a lot less snow than they have there. But last night in an icy rain I had an experience with a winter driver who I am completely convinced shouldn't have been winter driving at all. First of all, they had out of state plates, from a state where a lot of people around here come from and for the most part have gone back to. But it is still a state in the north where they should know how to drive in rain that is quickly freezing into ice on paved surfaces. So they were driving approximately ten miles per hour below the posted speed limit. Let me come out and say that I am absolutely okay with this. In bad conditions, where it is hard to see, and there is a mix of ice and standing water on the road, at night, I have no problem with ten below, okay? I am not going to tell them to go faster, and I will gladly settle down at ten under and watch the dark tree-like shapes pass by. No big deal.
I do, however, have a problem with hitting the brakes every time that an oncoming car approaches. I am not sure that hitting is the right word, and it certainly wasn't slamming. But it was a purposeful braking every time oncoming headlight appeared. And it was enough braking that, had I been following a little closer, I would have had to apply my brakes, and the same goes for every car behind me, and so on and so forth. That is enough to cause a spinout, or a chain reaction if one car gets into another, or a number of other bad traffic incidents. And there is no reason for it. None. If you are so nervous about conditions and darkness and unfamiliar roads, you shouldn't be out driving. If you have to slow down a little more overall, then slow down a little more, but remember that there still comes a point where you could be driving so slowly as to be a hazard anyway.
Here is the deal, folks: As you head out into the winter in your car, remember some things. 1.) Every action you have affects all the other cars around you, 2.) Doing anything quickly in the snow or ice is a recipe for disaster, slow and purposeful is the key, 3.) Don't try to do multiple things at once, either brake, accelerate, or turn, but don't try to do two out of three and 4.) If you are too scared or nervous then don't go out. It's so simple. Because if you are causing a problem by being overly cautious, or overly afraid, or overly stupid, you are going to compound problems by pissing everyone else off. And that pisses off the rest of the people, even the ones who weren't pissed off to being with. So don't be an overly aggressive asshole, don't be an overly cautious dingus, and let's all repeat after me: "I won't drive like an idiot. I won't drive like an idiot. I won't drive like an idiot."