Texans and the icy roads

@ElicBxn (60879)
United States
December 5, 2009 8:24am CST
Well, happily, the snow and ice passed us by in Austin. Its cold - 21º this morning, but the roads are nice and clear. A few years ago, tho, we got an ice storm. We stayed home. Now, while I have lived my whole adult life in Texas, and I don't enjoy driving on ice and snow, but I think, because my parents taught me and they learned to drive in New Jersey, that I seem to know a bit more than many, at least Austinites, how to drive on the icy roads. Lets go back a few years. We had an ice storm, I was taking the roomie to work. All the bridges and stuff were sanded EXCEPT the one just before where her office is. I'm making good time, but I've got my suspicions about the guy in front of me. Some how, he just doesn't seem to be making the best choices, going fast, stepping on the brakes, strange. Sure enough, we are going over the bridge and the MORON steps on the brakes. I take my foot off the gas while he's fishtailing around in front of me, then he does a 180. I actually have to touch my brakes and I feel my van start to skid. I take my foot OFF the brake and get control again. Moron, on the other hand, slides backward off the road onto the grassy medium and stops, about 3 feet from a bulldozer!I continue to idle off the bridge and once on solid ground I can then brake to make the turn onto the street where the roomie's office is. Needless to say, I was giving a running commentary of the moron for the roomie, who, as soon as he put his headlights in her eyes she couldn't see. As she is a non-driver, I was also commenting and explaining how BAD a driver he was. I'd guess Moron actually worked in her office, but hopefully not with her. Another occasion, before she was my roommate, I was taking the former roommate to work at the University of Texas and driving back when the ice storm hit - of course!Well, on the whole, the Interstate is on the ground, but there was one LONG overpass I had to go over. I am driving slowly and carefully when a different Moron steps on her brakes!I take my foot off the gas and watch as she first slides over and hits the barrier on the right side of the high way, then skids over, in front of me, and hits the pick up truck in the left lane (the highway is 4 lanes wide at this point) and proceeds to skid back in front of me and hit the right barrier again - this time coming to a stop. The pick up skid over into the left barrier. I did have to briefly, again, touch my brake, but never lost control of my car. I didn't stop then, but I did call the police when I got to work (we are talking about 15 yrs ago) and report that I had witnessed the accident. I might've stopped if I had a cell phone back then and hadn't been told that since I was the ONLY one near the office, I was expected to get there and handle any phone calls until we were officially released if we got ice or snow. My other co-workers all lived on the other side of town at that point. So, I fully expect to hear how Houston came to a grinding halt yesterday because of the ice and snow, because generally Austin gets more snow than Houston... How about you, seen any morons on the icy roads?Heck, in Austin, wet roads seem to make them think they need to speed up! You can just GUESS what they think of frozen wet stuff!
8 people like this
16 responses
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
5 Dec 09
Yup there are the MORONS on the road . Even some that I know have driven in snow and ice most of thier lifes seem to FORGET how to drive. We dont get much rain here in Vegas but when we do the roads are like ice for all the oil and sand left on them thro the year adn then we get the MORONS driving fast then hydroplane or skid every wehre just like on black ice. !
4 people like this
@ElicBxn (60879)
• United States
5 Dec 09
Yeah, I remember going to Vegas - lordy it was HOT! and we have the same oil on the road problems here and after a couple of months last summer of no rain, when we did get a light rain and the roads were horrid!
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
5 Dec 09
I know its is very hot here and they forget how to drive period!
1 person likes this
@ShepherdSpy (8562)
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
5 Dec 09
-21? yikes! it doesn't get that cold here in Ireland (Yet..) I think the hardest frost I can remember was -12 (C)-my radiator water froze! I was at a Concert with My Fiancee in Belfast on Wednesday night,and on the way back home took a back road as a short cut,but realized from the sparkle on the road that it was freezing..despite slowing down,there was a dip in the road followed by a curving uphill turn to the right,and on the curve,the car kept going sideways! no harm done,we kept going,and then once back on the main road I was gettin a lightness in the steering nearer to home -yep,black ice..!going over a crest in the road,I was finding things going a little off course,but I managed to get it back under control..was just glad there was no other traffic on the road..Not an Ice related story,AFAIK,but My niece was driving her younger sister to school one morning,and came around a bend behind another car only to see an oncoming car lose control (could have been oil on the road..) and skid into the car in front..another car behind Her came to a stop,too,only to get rear ended by the next car to come around the bend! so the 2 girls had a lucky escape..
@ElicBxn (60879)
• United States
5 Dec 09
not minus 21, only 21, but freaking cold enough! I think we set a new record Never actually dealt with black ice, but plain ice is bad enough for Texans. We actually have trouble with sand on the roads after the ice and then when it rains it suspends the oils from the cars during the dry spells. That's what is annoying about the morons, they seem to think wet means speed up!
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
5 Dec 09
I certainly understand what you mean about the morons! When I moved back east I knew I'd have to deal with snow and ice. I avoid going out in it when I can but last year my son was flying in for Christmas and everything was icy. Now, they are supposed to salt the roads to keep them safe but the price of salt rose and there wasn't much of it going onto the roads, not even the freeways. I got to the airport, it took me 2 hours to go the 25 miles there. The plane had to turn around and go to Texas and I was left to go home at 5 MPH all the way, watching cars do 180's in the road and slide off into guard rails, etc--because they wouldn't frickin' SLOW DOWN!!!! I don't understand people.
4 people like this
@ElicBxn (60879)
• United States
5 Dec 09
I knew someone would get it! Its a nightmare out there when there's ice on the roads, and these people don't think they need to slow down - well, its their cars, just keep me out of their wrecks!
3 people like this
@bellis716 (4806)
• United States
5 Dec 09
Glad to hear that the streets are clear in Austin. I know all about the crazy Austin drivers, as our son lives there. The sky is bright and sunny and the roads are clear here in Schertz. My husband brought some of the house plants in on the back porch, put the rest of them in a corner on the front porch and covered them with an old quilt. Hope nothing froze. The temperature early this morning was 27, but it dropped to 25, then rose back to 27. These are very cold temperatures for this early in the year this far south. Hope nothing in the garden froze. We covered the two bell pepper plants. I'm concerned about the Swiss chard and Kohlrabi, as I've never tried to grow Swiss chard in the winter, and this is my first attempt to grow kohlrabi at all. The other things cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, lettuce and onions, I'm sure are OK.
3 people like this
@ElicBxn (60879)
• United States
5 Dec 09
I covered my client's plants, I hope they did all right, not a real heavy cover, but the one that is always getting uncovered, I put down next to the other plants so it wouldn't get uncovered this year.
1 person likes this
@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
5 Dec 09
I'm a former New Englander, living in Oklahoma. It scares the heck out of me to have to drive in even the lightest dusting of snow down here. Not because I don't know how to, but because no one else does. I've driven from Maine to Massachusetts in a white-out blizzard, in a line of pre-holiday traffic. Didn't see one accident the whole way. Everyone knew to slow down and not do stupid things like jamming on the brakes. Down here it's a whole different story. People seeminly believe that if they have a pick-up truck or an suv, that they are immune to accidents. When there's a little snow or black ice on the ground, these drivers seem to drive like bats out of h@ll, in a hurry to get there. Unfortunately too many of them end up in accidents in their attempts, and some complete the trip. My son who moved down last winter rubs his hands in anticipation. He works in collision repair and this is the money-making time of year for him.
2 people like this
@ElicBxn (60879)
• United States
5 Dec 09
I know what you mean, I may have not learned to drive on the icy roads, but my parents told me how to do it and I've never had a problem, but these other people really are just crazy!
2 people like this
@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
6 Dec 09
"They must think the faster they go the quicker they will get somewhere". There's a lot of truth to that statement. Much to their surprise the 'somewhere' they get to is all too frequently not what they were planning. Wouldn't you think they'd learn?
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84148)
• Shingle Springs, California
5 Dec 09
What's an ice road? Actually, being much farther north than you, you'd think we'd get them here, but no. The couple times I've been on an ice road, the other half has been driving. He knew how to handle it. But even I know not to slam on the brakes when it's ice. Instinct though is hard to overcome in unfamiliar situations...
2 people like this
@ElicBxn (60879)
• United States
5 Dec 09
the kicker is that just before the first moron stepped on the brake I told the roomie I hoped he didn't...
1 person likes this
@commanderxo (1496)
• Canada
6 Dec 09
Don't quote me on this but, I think it's written on every Idiot Driver's License... "Must drive on icy and wet roads only." cdrxo
@ElicBxn (60879)
• United States
6 Dec 09
and "must drive drunk when they aren't"
1 person likes this
• Canada
9 Dec 09
Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference, whether it's the road or themselves, that are all wet! cdrxo
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60879)
• United States
10 Dec 09
Very true!
@BarBaraPrz (19815)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
5 Dec 09
Minus 21? Wow! We're still above zero here in sunny Hamilton. We haven't had any snow yet, and very little frost, either. I'm enjoying December, so far. (I picked some more raspberries today, but don't tell anyone.)
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60879)
• United States
5 Dec 09
no... duh - it was only 21, not minus 21... but still cold for us - at least because it was cold, it was also clear, really doesn't get that cold without some clearing in these parts - except for 1983...
1 person likes this
@BarBaraPrz (19815)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
5 Dec 09
I wondered. Well, that's still below freezing (32°F). Time to break out the longjohns.
1 person likes this
@blackbriar (9080)
• United States
9 Dec 09
-sighs- Every winter I see more and more morons on the road thinking it's not slick and off they spin into the ditch or a farmer's field. Think I'm gonna get me a bunch of white cardboard and put on it in waterproof marker or paint...'Stupid is as stupid does' and put it on the windshield of any car I see in the ditch due to icy/snowy roads. Only time I get stuck is when I pull up to a customer's mailbox and have to stop to put a paper in their paper tube. Then I can't get going again. I've lost count how many times I've had hubby, some farmer, or someone else give me a tug back on the road. lol I even bought my own tow straps just in case someone stops and doesn't have any chains.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60879)
• United States
10 Dec 09
Yeah, stopping is the worst! I was driving home after one ice storm (went to my mom's until the worst of the idiots were done driving!) There was one spot I had a problem, but a group of men were waiting there to push cars out of trouble - very nice bunch of men! Even wanted to be sure I avoided a few other trouble spots on the way home. I went the flattest way and had no other problem
@paula27661 (15899)
• Australia
6 Dec 09
Wow, it is so difficult to imagine ice on the roads first of all because it is a very hot day today in Perth Western Australia and secondly we don’t have icy roads in winter where I live although your discussion reminds me of living in Italy and driving in the snow with special chains on the tires to avoid skidding. I was only a kid at the time and didn’t drive of course but I do recall how careful my father had to be and getting stuck in a pile of snow! I agree with you in regards to morons, there are many on the roads in all sorts of weather and in all sorts of places! You sound as though you know what you are doing in icy conditions; I have been driving for thirty years but I doubt I would be any good driving on ice because it is something I have never had to do, I would probably be one of those morons!
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60879)
• United States
6 Dec 09
yeah, they have chains further north, but down here they would be a waste, I know places that change their tires to winter tires and then get out the chains, but here... well you enjoy your hot weather in Perth, I actually had a fond memory of the summer here, for about 15 seconds before I came back to my senses!
1 person likes this
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
6 Dec 09
I'm a Canadian spending the winter in south Texas. In Canada snow and ice are the usual on all our roads. We are born and raised on ice and snow. Here in South Texas it snows once in 100 years so its no wonder everyone is awed by the chance of ice on the freeway. In Canada the roads are sanded (with a sand and salt mix) to combat icy conditions. Last night we were shown a huge pile of small stones which were to go on the road if it iced. Thank God there was no ice and those stones were never spread on the freeway. Hundreds of windshields would have been chipped, and or broken by these little round rocks. Its very obvious the Highway People have no idea how to treat an icy road! Thank God we were spared once again in South Texas!
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60879)
• United States
6 Dec 09
we do have sand here, but happily we didn't need it either - wonder what they were thinking with rocks? I know they have sand in south Texas, wonder if they sent it all north! So... where ya at? Harlingen? Brownsville?
@Opal26 (17690)
• United States
6 Dec 09
Hey Elic! That is some scary stuff that you have been through! I don't understand how people just don't understand the rules of the road in icy weather! They explain it over and over again on all the tv channels! I also am not a driver, but do know the rules about not putting on your brakes, stearing into a skid, etc.! And living in NYS we sure get some very icy weather hear! Today we finally have gotten our first tiny bit of snow! It was mixed with rain so it is very wet snow, but when the temps drop tonight we will have an icy slick mess to deal with tomorrow! Thankfully though it is Sunday and maybe people will get out a bit later so the cities have time to sand and salt! But, being that it is the Christmas Season and the stores are having their sales, who knows what crazies will be out! Me, I'm staying at home! I'm just glad that you and your roomie are safe!
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60879)
• United States
6 Dec 09
Yeah, I was hanging back from the first one and really, trying to hang back from the second one, can't believe how these people seem to lose their minds when the roads get slick
@gabs8513 (48716)
• United Kingdom
5 Dec 09
Hi there Elic I have seen many believe me My previous Job was an Area Manager which included a lot of travelling and in the Winter I hated it as I travelled mainly on Motorways and the Idiots that where about on them was just unreal They do not slow the speed, they are skidding all over and they are still up the Ar*e of your Car I loved my job but in the Winter I have to be honest I would rather have not been on the roads lol
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60879)
• United States
6 Dec 09
gads, I'm actually glad that I normally didn't have to go out in bad weather - but this home health job I am supposed to be there bad weather or not, I've got a blow up bed over there in case I get stuck
@ANTIQUELADY (36489)
• United States
5 Dec 09
i DON'T ENJOY DRIVING ON IT EITHER ESPECIALLY ICE & THAT'S ONE OF THE VERY NICE THINGS THAT COME OUT OF ME NOT BEING ABLE TO WORK ANYMORE I DON'T have to get out in bad weather. People here go crazy to when the roads get bad. It's like it just turns them on to acting stupid. U were lucky that woman didn't hit u when she was sliding all over creation. The worse thing in the world u can do is hit that brake but so many people do. U stay safe .
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60879)
• United States
6 Dec 09
when I saw her lose control, I took my foot off the gas and just let her slide around in front of me, I was in perfect control as long as I didn't touch the brake, even when I did tap it, I regained control as soon as I took my foot off.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
5 Dec 09
I think alot of it is that thet are not used to driving in it..lol..I was there during that icestorm. I was stuck there for almost a week because of 10 being closed. That was back in 1996 or 97 wasn't it? I was right out in the middle of it and there were people everywhere bouncing off the guardrails. It was scary. Tapping the brakes is a lot better thatn laying down on them for sure..lol.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60879)
• United States
6 Dec 09
Really, actually up in the panhandle they have a better idea of how to drive in snow, but you get down in south or south central and they seem to lose their MINDS!
@camomom (7536)
• United States
11 Dec 09
Just dropping in to say Hi. I'm WAY behind on my friends posts. Sorry for the generic comment. Happy Holidays!!!