June 18, 2010
Readers write about how they've managed tough road conditions
The Worst We Ever Saw
Thanks to everyone who wrote in about the slick surfaces they’ve seen. Here’s what a few readers had to say. Remember these stories and tips next time the road gets slick.
From Around the Bend…
My driveway is long and on a hill that slopes down into my street, which has a blind curve just ahead of my house. I always have to be extra careful backing out. One winter, the road was clear when I started backing out, but a car sped by at the same time from around the bend. My driveway was covered in ice despite several days of shoveling and salting. When I applied the brakes, even with pumping them, I started to slide backwards into the street. I quickly applied the emergency brake, but even that left my car careening backward. Luckily, the oncoming car already passed, and I was fine. Now, when conditions aren’t good, I back into my driveway when I get home so when I pull out into the street I’m going forward. This makes it easier to see, steer and stop.
Cruise Goes Off…
When driving in rain, I make sure not to use cruise control. If your tires leave the road (hydroplane), they will continue at the same speed if the cruise is on. I also make sure to have sunglasses handy in case of shiny roads after a storm. They improve visibility instantly.
-Pamela J. Nemet
Tough Day to Play…
My brother Tom and I were driving from Knoxville to Cookeville for a Tennessee Golf Association tournament. When we were near Crossville on I–40, in a heavy rainstorm, I released my cruise control. Not long after, a van in front of us hydroplaned on an overpass and flipped over. I swerved to the right lane to avoid hitting the van, but I hit and bounced off another car. While the rescue personnel were cutting open the van to get the driver out, I saw a woman pinned underneath, laying on the interstate. I surely would have killed her if I had not swerved to the right. A rescue worker said to me, “This happens all the time when the overpass gets hit with a lot of rain.”
My car was towed away, and we hitched a ride with another golfer. We didn’t play well that day, but at least we were able to play!
White Pine, Tenn.
We Turned the Radio Up…
I learned a very good lesson at the age of 17 as a passenger, and I’ve never forgotten it—even now, at age 49. It was a rainy day, and the radio played “I Can See for Miles” as we rode along. The wet roads turned slippery, and we spun out on a curve, landing up on a little hill, just short of a telephone pole. Thankfully, no one was hurt, and I now always drive slower in the rain because of having been through that.
These statements are excerpted from letters submitted to Eriesense by ERIE Customers. In appreciation for their submission, each received a car safety kit.