Monday, January 28, 2008

Flooding and Fishtailing

Mini Cooper convertibles and a deluge of a rain storm do not mix. I know this first hand.

A few things that make the Mini unsuitable:
  • No rear windshield wiper
  • No rear visibility
  • No side visibility
  • No weight to the car
  • At least one bald tire
  • Front wipers not fast enough for said deluge
In addition to that, let it be said that Southern California drivers are not at all equipped for rain. So, we were coming home from the airport last night (with Tyler in the front seat because the back seat was the only place large enough for our luggage) and the rain was pouring. It was pouring to the point that I thought I might have to pull over and wait for a lull. I'm talking drops the size of silver dollars spreading across the windshield and falling so fast that the wipers gave me virtually no visibility before the windshield was covered again.
Through all of this, I catch a glimpse of a big electronic sign which reads, "ADVERSE WEATHER. PLEASE DRIVE WITH CAUTION". No one slowed from their 60+ mph. This was followed a short time later with a sigh that read, "FLOODED HIGHWAY. REDUCE SPEED." Again, no one slowed down, except for me. Within a minute or so, my car was completely engulfed by a spray of water pluming up from the cars in front of me. I kid you not, it went to both sides as well as up and over my car. And then, I saw all sorts of brake lights, and cars started fishtailing down the highway, careening into each others' lanes. And I couldn't really tell where anyone was because I could only intermittently see out of my front window, and the red glow of taillights through vast quantities of water is not enough to tell you if your small son is about to be crushed by an airbag or not. So, I continued to slow without braking, held the wheel as steady as I could (even though I'm pretty sure my tires weren't on actual ground at that point either) and prayed like I have never prayed before. Tyler slept peacefully the entire time.

And here we are unscathed, so that's good.


Naomi said...

Just give these Californians anything other than perfect weather and they are clueless! And people complain about UTAH drivers. . .

Actually, I have been annoyed with UT drivers when I have returned, but at least they know how to take it easy when the weather gets crazy!

Mom said...

No they don't, Naomi. Did you hear about all the pileups today? Utah drivers don't know how to slow down for bad weather, either. But then, I blame the bad driving in Utah on all the Californians who have moved to Utah. (tee hee)

Liss, I am so glad you and Ty are ok.

kEllY said...

I am glad you made it home safely.

But good news about the mini.. David took a crash today where a Hummer slammed into the back of miniC and pushed it into a 5 series BMW. The mini had the front and back smashed, but the driver came out without a single scratch.

David sees a lot of this stuff and he was pretty impressed by the mini.

frizzlefry said...

Wow! That's the promise they make to the people who buy them, but I didn't actually think it was true. . .

scpcrath said...

I am so happy that Sam doesn't commute anymore cause back when he did and he was driving on the freeways I was panicking until I knew he was safe and off the wet roads.