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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Snow Days and Vehicular Impatience - Did ya really have to Honk at 5:30 am?

My days usually begins with me shuttling my husband to work at 5:30 am before returning to get my three children ready for school.  Like many individuals throughout the country, I look to the weather channel to plan my day and determine the best route for travel. I can only hope and pray that my fellow road warriors are also contemplating the safest way to commute to work.  The past two days have included very snowy roads and movement at a slower rate of speed.  I should be immune to the variations in driving techniques I have encountered in my years of experience with inclement weather conditions. Still, I have been shocked that drivers have exhibited some rude and dangerous behaviors on my most recent trips. 
First:  It is hard to drive when the lines that divide the road into four lanes are covered with snow. Most reasonable individuals will recognize that the car in front of them is making a good faith effort to remember where those lines are supposed to be and follow accordingly.  Most reasonable individuals with any good sense for their personal safety and the safety of others would not pass the individual in front at an unsafe rate of speed and honk as they go by.  (This really happened.)
Second:  If you clearly see that a vehicle is having difficulties maintaining a lane, it is safe to assume that the person in front of you may have a better handle on what is happening with the road and is making adaptations  to accommodate the road conditions.  Stop following so closely even if you do not see slick spots on the road.  It is still slippery and you will not be able to stop as quickly in an emergency.
Third:  When you see that someone is trying to merge or exit the road, don't speed up or cut them off.  Turn signals were made for a reason!  Don't make that car go out of its way to the next exit just  because you are unwilling to let them in front of you.
There's something about having someone honk at you on a snowy, slick highway at 5:30 a.m. that just brings out the unholy in an individual.  Lots of prayers and lots of patience are required on such days.   A little courtesy goes a long way.  I will continue to look out for others, like the car from New Mexico who seemed nervous that I was traveling behind him.  When I was able to safely maneuver around his car and leave two lanes between us, I  removed this element of stress so that New Mexico could figure out the road conditions without me barreling down on his smaller car. 
Hoping your road conditions are not too stressful.  If they are, I hope that your fellow travelers will be kind and courteous to you, that everyone will drive with care, and everyone will safely arrive at their destinations.   Our children watch how we interact with others.  They are the future drivers, so let's set a good example...even when the weather tries our patience.
Stay warm and have a safe day!