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Thursday, 15 December 2016

Share Your Worst Driving Stories

I went to work today and drove through white outs on the way there. All the while I was getting more and more angry at myself for succumbing to the guilt of going into work rather than staying put at home. The roads are unsafe today. Roads started closing yesterday due to blowing snow. They continue to close even more roads today.

When I drove home, I drove through more white outs and now drifting. I had my high beams on and my four way flashers so everyone could see I was there, even though nobody couldn't see what was on the road a few meters ahead of the vehicle. I got home and made a decaf coffee with a shot of fake Baileys in it.

However, my worst driving experience was about twenty years ago on a more major highway (but not multi-lane). I was pregnant with my first baby. The snow had just started to come down right when everyone was leaving work. It was incredibly thick. I started out to drive home which was in the next town. As I drove, the snow got thicker until it felt like someone had dropped a white blanket on my car. I could see NOTHING. I couldn't stop because nobody would see me and they could run into me. I could not really drive forward because at this point I did not know which side of the road I was on, or if I was going around the bend in the road that I knew was coming up. I just had to creep forward, little bit by little bit, all the while whimpering a bit. This kept up for a while and I was sure I was either going to hit someone, or they would hit me, or I would end up in the ditch. The snow let up enough that I could tell there was a laneway to my right and I pulled into it. There was a house there and someone came out and asked me if I wanted to come in. I sat at their kitchen table drinking tea with another person who had also found their laneway and took refuge. After a while, the snow diminished and I was able to drive the rest of the way home. I had never felt so helpless and vulnerable on the road before, or since.

I've spent Christmas Eve at a family friends' when I was in my teens and couldn't make it home safely from a part time job. We've taken in strangers on New Years Eve because they couldn't safely drive any further. I currently have an extra teenager in my home whose road is closed and her bus couldn't take her home.

Share your worst driving experience. If you are not from a snowy area, maybe you've driven through hurricane-like winds or a horrible lightning storm. It is coming through these moments that gives you something to talk about when the next storm happens (and you're sitting at the table with someone who couldn't get home because it was so bad).


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23 comments:

  1. Mine was about 15 years ago. I was driving from Green Bay to our home in Algoma (on Lake Michigan). It was snowing lightly. I stopped at a little town midway and picked up a few groceries. I came out of the store and as I pulled out of the drive it (as you described) was like a white blanket dropped over the car. I could not see where I was going nor did I dare to stop. I had only gone about 1/4 mile when the fog from the lake rolled in to mix with the snow. I could not tell which side of the road I was on-but knew I was coming up to a bridge. All of a sudden I saw the bridge CAUTION marker and I was on the wrong side of the road headed towards the river. If that sign had not been there I would have driven right in. I corrected to what I thought was the right side of the road and as I got to the top of the hill it cleared slightly and I could see the road a bit. It was another 15 miles to home and took me about 2 hours to get there. I had driven about 2 miles with no idea if I was on the road or not. It was the most scared I have ever been driving. xo Diana

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    1. Sounds awful, Diana, but I know what you mean when you say "nor did I dare to stop".

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  2. I have driven through extremely heavy rain where you cannot see the road in front and cannot stop because someone will drive into you. It is very scary and dangerous as you don't know if you are about to drive into a flooded area of road and be swept away. Driving up mountain ranges when it is raining and foggy is pretty scary too.

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    1. Oh yes, fog is just like a blanket of snow, but warmer. Thank goodness I haven't been in a flooding situation!

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  3. Jenn, My heart goes out to you...cause I have driven the same crazy weather . Not while pregnant thankfully. LOL. I blame our companies and bosses for not being practical and canceling work. I am thankful I no longer have to go to work in bad weather....but then I worry for my kids and everyone else on the roads. May God watch over everyone who has to be out there. I sure do not go shopping in this stuff. Blessings, xoxo, Susie
    p.s. glad you are safe.

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    1. Yes, it's nice when you can decide to just not go out in the bad weather. I worry when my kids are out as well. -Jenn

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  4. We don't get snow here like that. Just rain mostly. I have driven through fog so thick that I could not see more than a few feet in front of my car. High beams make it worse because they just reflect off the drops.

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    1. Fog can be freaky - you start to see shapes in the fog that aren't even there. Thick fog can be just as dangerous as snow when it comes to visibility.

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  5. I try to stay out of it. I did have to drive across an icy/snowy road with a bridge. Almost spun out. I was only going 20 mph at most.

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  6. Sounds awful and I can totally relate to all this! I've driven through every imaginable traumatic scene. Living in an area of Canada that sees its fair share of snow and sometimes fog, it's somewhat inevitable. I've driven through fog where you couldn't see two feet in front of the car. That was terrifying. I couldn't see a thing and I was on a very busy boulevard. We all inched forward until the fog cleared.

    Another time, I drove through a blizzard and couldn't see a thing in that case either. Very terrifying. My heart was pounding and I was in shock by the time I finally made it home. And so grateful to have made it there safe and sound.

    One winter morning I drove on the worst icy roads you can ever imagine The city workers were protesting and ready to strike and didn’t go out that morning to pour salt. And all the roads/highways were skating rinks. I was on the highway that day and everyone was going no more than 10 kilometers an hours. If that. And still, it didn’t help. It was so bad that the driver in front of me hit an ice patch and lost complete control. His car spun around a few times, flew up into the air and crashed back to the ground. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life!

    But the worst thing I’ve ever experienced is when I hit black ice as I approached a stop sign, the tires lost traction and the car started sliding. As if that wasn’t terrifying enough, a pedestrian started to cross as my car headed his way. I have never felt more horrified in my life. And helpless. And totally freaked out. I honked to warn the pedestrian to GET OUT OF THE WAY. But he just looked at me. Thank heavens my vehicle did stop, and it all turned out okay. But it was one of the longest and most stressful few seconds of my life. I had to pull over after I crossed that intersection and take a few seconds to calm down.

    Winter looks pretty in postcards and photos. But if you’ve driven through the worst of the worst, you know just how ugly it is when you are behind the wheel of a car!

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    1. Oh Martha, those sound like terrifying incidents. I'm glad nobody got hurt. Black ice is tricky stuff.

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  7. Incredible stories!! I cannot imagine driving in such storms. The most I've encountered is a bit of very heavy rain and now and again fog but just for short stretches. You're all heroines.

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    1. Not heroines, just people who live in places with crappy weather.

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  8. I've had a few accidents in the snow that I try to wipe out of my mind. Glad you made it home okay. Have a great weekend.

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  9. I can't imagine anything worse than your incident when you were pregnant -- scary for you AND your baby.

    My worst was last year -- trying to get to the airport in Detroit 90 miles away in an ice storm. I got about five miles from home in two hours. That was near friends, so I stopped there totally frayed. They closed the highway but by then I was safe and warm and Rick got the bus home from Metro. We have a road trip tomorrow to the kids and a weather storm advisory. We'll see... stay tuned!

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    1. Ice storms can cause so much damage. We've flown out of the Detroit airport before. It's much easier to deal with than Toronto. Glad you made it through that ice storm in the end.

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  10. Coldest weather in years coming tomorrow so I think I'll just stay home. Ice storms scare me more than tornados.

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  11. reading your story was watching a scary movie dear .that was horrible but glad you got help in time and nothing bad happened .

    during pregnancy it is more safe to have someone else with you to drive as in such days brain enlarges everything happens around .
    hope snow takes break and you have sun shining upon your sky .though we live in quite hot area and i mostly complain about it but reading you today made me feel little safe as during winters we hardly get even rains here .
    take care

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  12. Jen I know what you mean about feeling helpless during snow storm whiteouts. Thankfully you from comfort in that laneway's kitchen. We had to drive in/out of Toronto on Thursday for Mr Man's emerg surgery. When leaving we were just head of the storm but by Milton we were in the thick of it - horrible drive.

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  13. My worst driving story is of looking for my daughter because she was late for curfew and coming up to a wreck that the ambulances had just left, and seeing that it was my daughters totaled car not far from our home. She survived but it was touch and go for weeks after. Now when I see bad weather conditions or emergency vehicles I'm reminded.

    Your coffee solution sounds darn good!!... why haven't I thought of that!

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  14. Oh, your story I think everyone can relate to! So glad you made it home safely! Have a merry Christmas and wonderful New Year!

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