Wednesday, January 21, 2015
See all that? I know, it's not that much, but it wasn't there this morning, and it's supposed to keep coming until this evening.
I had a dentist appointment today for my semi-annual cleaning, and my mom showed up to watch the boys just as the snow started to fall. I figured it wouldn't be a big deal - the dentist office is only 7 miles away on a well-traveled road. I figured that the other cars would melt the snow as they drove, keeping it relatively safe.
When I got out of the dentist office, I saw I was mostly right - there were trails of slush, surrounded by snow. It didn't look all that bad. And of course, I was driving this -
My All Wheel Drive van (which is yes, still slowly croaking) should be able to handle this, right? But I'm still driving on "all weather tires", and practically speaking I wouldn't have switched to snow tires this morning even if I had them around.
So I was approaching a red light with several cars stopped ahead of me, started braking at what I thought was a reasonable distance, and had a Come to Jesus moment as my ABS brakes kicked on and I kept sliding. The last thing I remember yelling was "Please Dear God let me STOP!!!!" - right before I finally stopped. I was a few feet away from rear ending the guy in front of me.
I drove the next 5 miles home VERY carefully, and lost control momentarily as I was pulling into the driveway. I parked, walked in, and strongly considered a glass of wine with lunch to settle myself down! (I didn't - but I considered it.)
I thought hard about what would have made the situation better. Obviously AWD wasn't the answer. Snow tires might have helped, but this is the first snow in ages - we wouldn't have had a reason to put them on before today.
The only conclusion I could draw was - I shouldn't have been out there! I looked at the snow and thought it would be no big deal, but forgot that wet and icy roads are very dangerous. Last night there was even a freezing fog warning, quite possibly the most dangerous weather condition, because people don't realize that the mist is turning into a fine icy coating over everything. It's so easy to underestimate the danger of slick roads. If it's snowing, sleeting, or other slippery precipitation is falling, don't drive if you can avoid it. Yes, even if you have a monster SUV like my husband (I'll be a little nervous until he gets home safe.).
To my Florida readers - I hear you chuckling. Stop it. :)