"The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"
So said Chicken Little
, running around like his head had been cut off, raising a ruckus
And so also say the people behind the wheel when it starts to rain.
It doesn't seem to matter where they live. It doesn't seem to matter how much driving experience they have. It doesn't seem to matter how many times they've driven in the rain before. If there's water falling from above, most drivers lose all common sense.
I'm not saying that there are a lot of good drivers out there normally. The number of people who shouldn't be trusted with a 2-ton weapon is easily visible just by counting up the number of people who think they can safely drive with a cell-phone stuck to one ear. What I am saying is that any competance they began with goes out the window as the first drops start to fall.
If you drive regularly, you can understand what I'm saying. Even if you're one of those I'm talking about, you can still see it.
The roads get wet and slippery, yet not only don't they slow down, they speed up just to get out of the weather faster. A few years ago, January, we had our regular winter storms. My husband was driving me to the doctor's office to help clear up a bout of bronchitis. We're waiting at a stop light for a freeway onramp and this car comes up on the right, intending to take the corner without stopping, never mind that the signal was red. This was a very poor decision and a great misfortune to the oncoming driver who was just turning onto the onramp. The foolish driver hit the brakes, hydroplaned on the slick blacktop and smacked right into the front passenger side of the other car. This caused the other car to be pushed sideways and it came to a stop facing the right way at the curb, as if it had been parked. Which was a good thing, as it wasn't going to be moving without the assistance of a tow truck. The car that hit it spun around, fetching up against a light pole, facing down the onramp. Both cars were only occupied by the drivers and there were no obviously serious injuries. If I hadn't been so miserably sick, we would have stayed as witnesses.
Visibility is reduced by the water both falling and kicked up by tires, yet not only do they not slow down, not only do they still tailgate, but they don't even turn on their headlights. I don't know about you, but I rather want to be as visible as possible. My car is an off-white cream color. Just the sort of color that fades into daylit mist. Even with the lights on, people still fail to see me, but not because they can't see me but because they never look.
This seems to be epidemic wherever in the world you are. If there are drivers and there is rain, this is common. I'm fortunate that here in southern California, we only get about 30 days that it rains out of the year. But I've spoken to online friends in Maine, Florida, Washington, Australia, Germany, Ireland, Ottawa, Vancouver and various other regions and it is all the same.
Next time you're out driving and it starts to rain, take a look around. You'll see them. They're everywhere.