Sunday, March 19, 2006

Driver's Ed 802

When I was 16, I took driver's ed in high school. Back then, the biggest thing I had to worry about, besides the driving instructor/football coach that I had sitting next to me, barking orders, were the crazy West-Indian and North African drivers that popped out of nowhere in downtown Brooklyn. I was taught to make 2-second stops, to look over my shoulder when turning (NYC bike messengers are notorious for hiding in your blind spot), and to not speed down Fulton St. unless I wanted to get stopped by a cop in a heartbeat. These were valuable lessons that would serve me well later on, when I started driving on my own.

But, in hindsight, there was a slight problem with driver's ed. It didn't teach me anything on how to deal with THIS:

A Driver's Worst Nightmare
Originally uploaded by djkibblesnbits.

For those not used to dealing with snow, driving in conditions like these can, in effect, be a driver's worst nightmare, especially if they happen to be driving a car that wasn't exactly meant to deal with heavy duty snow like this.

Fortunately, (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at things), I've acquired plenty of experience since my driver's ed days for driving in snow. Because driving conditions in Syracuse usually look a lot like this, I've become accustomed to driving with little to no visibility and little traction.

Still, driving for a couple of minutes at a time in Syracuse in this kind of weather pales in comparison to driving along a highway for four hours under these same conditions. Especially if this highway happens to overlook a 1000-ft. drop.

Yesterday, on my way back from NYC, I was driving back along with my roommate, Pedro, and Nelson, when, about 100 miles shy of our final destination, we ran into a horrible blizzard. Add the fact that the sun had already set, and there were few lights on the road, and you have a recipe for an automotive disaster. As I said, I've driven in blizzards before, but that doesn't mean that I've enjoyed my previous experiences. I mean, unless you have a death-wish, there's nothing "enjoyable" about driving in the midst of a blizzard. Well, unless of course you happen to be driving an incredible SUV that could handle conditions like this. Only then, it's fun. But not when you're driving a little Toyota Corolla with "all-season" tires. "All-season," my ass. I guess the only two seasons that exist are spring and summer, because my tires were barely holding up in the ever-increasing pile-up of snow.

Thankfully, with some careful maneuvering, we were able to make it back to Cuse in one piece. Judging from some of the accidents that we passed along the way, however, some people just weren't as lucky.

So, we're back. 6 more weeks of this chit, and then I'm outta here!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad you made it home safe. Is that a pic you took on the road? Well if nothing else, you are learning a driving skill few can boast. Even though I'm sure by now you've seen enough snow to last a lifetime. Me bubbooo!!


10:02 AM  
Blogger djkibblesnbits said...

Nah, I didn't take that picture. I was concentrating too hard on keeping the car from driving off the mountains! I got that, courtesy of Google.

11:01 AM  

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