This morning’s local news is filled with headlines about wrecks that are happening as a result of the rain we’ve been getting since last night.
It happens every time. Here in NE Oklahoma we’ve not received any rain in quite some time and we badly need it. But it seems that people tend to want to speed up when it’s raining, snowing, whatever. What’s your hurry? I realize some people need to get to work and everything. But here’s a few things to remember when the weather is different.
Pavement has a different kind of grip to it when wet as opposed to dry for starters. Sometimes asphalt or concrete will have a thin layer of water on it that accumulates. It cannot drain because it has nowhere to go but to rest on top of the road’s surface. Whenever a car goes too fast for the conditions, it hydroplanes. It literally skips across this water like a speedboat on a lake. And if you are going too fast, and you are hydroplaning, you can find yourself into a fender bender quicker than you can blink. You can actually get a ticket for driving too fast for the weather conditions. Just because a speed limit sign says you can legally drive up to and including 75 miles per hour, doesn’t mean drivers should do it.
I have no idea why people are so impatient in today’s world. Here in Jay, I’ve noticed a lot of wrecks start because someone will be tired of waiting a few extra seconds and pull out in front of someone. Nine times out of ten, it’ll be to cut off a chicken truck. Well, now that means these folks who get into a wreck are REALLY going to be late. And sometimes “late” will describe them in more ways than one if heaven forbid, it turns into a fatality. Remember: lugnuts win. If you see a semi truck coming, wait until it passes to pull out.
Over confidence is also a problem I have noticed. Someone who thinks they have skills for driving on ice and snow usually ends up losing control of their vehicle.
An increase of motorcycle accidents also has some concern for me. Motorcycles are cool and they have to share the roads with others. They are also a little bit more difficult to control than a car with four wheels or more. And for some strange reason, they are a little bit more difficult to see. Riders who are wearing helmets can still suffer great bodily injury if the lose control of their bikes. So please just be aware of others on the road.
I also should not have to constantly remind people not to talk or text and drive. Yet you see this all the time and in adverse weather conditions, it seems that drivers cannot seem to keep their eyes on the road to begin with. It’s even harder to do when it’s raining or slick and more important than ever for drivers to have both hands on the wheel. It never ceases to amaze me how come people do this when they know it’s illegal in many places.
My final gripe is that some people just don’t understand the concept of “left lane ends”. They try to merge to the left every time, instead of to the right. Perhaps folks should write an essay about what this means on their driver’s tests before they are ever issued that piece of plastic that doubles as an ID.
I really should not have to repeat myself, but for some reason, you’d think if a person earns their license to be on the roads in the first place, that they’d remember the rules, laws, and regulations they studied in their driver’s manual regarding all of these things and more. Perhaps some drivers should study the latest edition of the driver’s manual from time to time just for a refresher.