Monday, January 10, 2011

Driving in the Snow

I'm a snow wimp. I freely admit it. I don't like driving on even the lightest amount of snow. I remember Seattle, and I remember a particular drive home in the snow in which I was clearly being protected by a higher power... because I'm just not that good a driver.

It snowed last night. Not much. Barely an inch, if that. But it was enough to put a layer of snow on the roads which were compacted into ice by traffic.

And Eric needed me to run some errands for him today, including mailing a job application. I told him I might not do it, and he was slightly annoyed but understanding. It was him being so understanding that guilted me into doing it. I decided to take the risk and drive down to the post office despite the snow.

For the most part it was fine. The layer of ice was worse on some corners, and it was sometimes difficult to get the car to start moving again. But that's better than having trouble stopping it, so I won't complain about those instances.

The biggest fear happened when I was almost home, and I stepped lightly on the brakes as I approached a stop sign. And the car kept moving, with a strange noise underneath that sounded like paper being crumpled. I wasn't going very fast, and my instant panic was literally less than a second long. I lifted my foot off the brake and reapplied it, and the car slowed enough that I went safely through the stop sign and around the corner in a sliding motion that was very slow but at least controlled. Whew. After I was on the straightaway again, I tapped the breaks a couple of times. Same sound, but this time the car stopped. I continued homeward, and behind me I saw another car run the same stop sign going MUCH faster than I was, and slide up into the driveway of the unoccupied house opposite the sign. They got control and got back on the road, but it looked like a close thing. I turned off before I could see if they decided to risk speeding in the snow again.

So, mostly uneventful. But I guess I'm glad I did it. I may not like driving in the snow, but I'm going to have to get used to it this winter. We've got a major storm moving in tomorrow, and who knows what that will do to us?