This weekend was a trying one for many reasons.
First, our daughter brings a truck load of drama where ever she goes. I love her dearly because she’s got a big heart, a big voice, and is capable of so much, but deals with a lot of things that we, as her parents, did not.
Second, we spent a lot of time dealing with Brown Swiss. From the banquet to the sale to running our daughter home, that’s a lot of miles and time spent in a car not doing something productive. We talked about those “things we do for our children”. This is one of those things.
And finally, to compound all this, the weather. A pretty good winter storm grazed Northeast Iowa, leaving behind a mess of slush and 2″ – 4″ of snow. Then, the wind started blowing, making an even bigger mess, and that’s what we drove our daughter back to Iowa City.
Now, this isn’t about her or Brown Swiss, it’s about people driving for the conditions and paying attention to their surroundings. The drive down to Iowa City was a good drive for all but 35 miles because of the snow and ice on the roadway. We dropped her off, said our goodbyes, then back into the car, aiming north. I started stressing about half way back, because the first 30 miles were absolutely awful. However, as we got closer to home, the snow plows had been out in force, because the roads, for the most part were cleared.
But then we had a choice. Did we take the same road home (that made our start very scary), did we take the state highway going west or the state highway going north. We made the choice to go north, which was a very bad decision.
About two miles outside of town, we came upon a snowplow stopped, trying to clear the road. At this point, we were down to 40 miles per hour, and as we approached this plow, I’d slowed even further. Behind the plow, two cars were waiting. An SUV comes up over the hill, going WAY TOO FAST loses control, and plows into the now middle car, who smacks the front car. As I was watching, it’s like slow motion picture, because you knew when that SUV showed up, you knew exactly what was going to happen next.
SUV traveling too fast Middle Car
Photo Cred: Fayette County Sheriff
Because of the road conditions, we couldn’t pull off right there, but my wife got on the phone to 911. As she was talking, I got us pulled off, turned around, and got out of my car to stop cars from coming up on the accident and making it worse.
The moral of this story: SLOW DOWN! I don’t care to count the number of “chain reaction” accidents I’ve seen on Facebook and the news because people aren’t using their heads! As I watched this accident play out in front of me, I pictured the green car popping into our lane, so I was all ready figuring a way out of that situation.
If there’s anything that I’ve learned about driving as I’ve gotten older, it’s that slow and steady wins the race. If someone’s coming in hot, there’s a reason why. It is they are late? Had a fight with someone and are driving angry? Not happy about something? Whatever the reason, those who are proactive and putting first things first (their safety and the safety of those around them), they are usually the drivers who arrive on time and with no problems, man made (a ticket or accident) vs. those who are speeding and not driving smart.
My father, a driver’s ed teacher for 25+ years would be proud.
I’m turning into my father.
Well, there could be worse things!
Now slow down, pay attention, and get off my lawn! 🙂